National Farmers Urges Passing USMCA, Lifting Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
(AMES, Iowa) May 2, 2019 — National Farmers Organization says USMCA must be passed soon so financially beleaguered farmers—battered by concentration, tariffs and trade uncertainty—will have a chance at better prices. In the past four years, American dairy producers have experienced a milk price decline of nearly 50 percent. Just last year, 2,800 dairy farmers went out of business.
“Canada and Mexico are not expected to vote on USMCA unless America lifts steel and aluminum tariffs,” said National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul. “I know there are a lot of famers who support eliminating the tariffs and moving forward with our new trade agreement with our trading partners.”
Earlier this year, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the House Ways and Means Committee, failing to pass USMCA this year would damage the credibility of America’s global trade agenda, particularly the efforts to secure a deal with China.
The 2015 Trade Promotion Authority Act outlines trade agreements’ procedures, and the next step is for the Trump administration to submit final text of the implementing legislation to Congress. By law that is required to occur 30 days before the bill to ratify USMCA is introduced in both chambers of Congress. “So, this is a process that requires several important steps,” Paul said.
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been involved in the passage of every U.S. free-trade agreement, and said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal April 29, is never an easy task. He also said in the piece, it’s time for tariffs to go.
The U.S. International Trade Commission’s April 19 report said U.S. food and agricultural exports would increase by $2.2 billion, or 1.1 percent, with full implementation of the new tri-lateral trade agreement known as USMCA.
National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.