Ag News

USMCA takes effect

On July 1, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect, replacing the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

President Donald Trump signed the USMCA into law on Jan. 29.

Key provisions in the USMCA include:

• Expanded market opportunities in Canada for America’s dairy farmers on a wide variety of dairy products. Canada agreed to eliminate the unfair Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs that allowed their farmers to undersell U.S. producers.

• For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology – including new technologies such as gene editing – to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies.

• The agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators and lays out additional factors to be considered in determining whether a term is a common name.

• The three countries agreed to strengthen disciplines for science-based measures that protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.

• U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey, and eggs.

• Canada agreed to terminate its discriminatory wheat grading system, enabling U.S. growers to be more competitive.

• The three countries agree to avoid technical barriers to trade through non-discrimination and transparency regarding sale, distribution, labeling, and certification of wine and distilled spirits.