Clements: Agricultural exports are expected to increase by $2.2 billion under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement once it’s implemented, according to a report by the International Trade Commission. Dave Salmonsen, senior director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, says changes to trade rules prompted the projected increase.
Salmonsen: In the past, the ITC really never had a way of putting numbers behind rules. But this time they used some new modeling and came out with that number. And we think over time, once this is implemented, this will have those beneficial effects and be a good addition to what we already have in NAFTA with the new USMCA provisions.
Clements: USMCA changes sanitary and phytosanitary standards, biotech rules and other provisions. Salmonsen says the projected increase in ag exports also comes from quota changes.
Salmonsen: Part of the 2.2 billion was $435 million in, we think, new exports to Canada because they granted some more access, they raised the quotas. They wouldn’t get rid of their tariffs on dairy and poultry which is their last remaining control they have over those imports, but they raised access, so we’ve got that.
Clements: He says U.S. agriculture needs lawmakers to move forward with USMCA, which keeps and builds upon the benefits of NAFTA.
Salmonsen: Without this preferential tariff treatment, then we’ll have other countries looking to get into those markets. We’re facing the same issues now with our dealings with Japan where other countries have better tariff treatment and they’re starting to take away some of what’s been very good markets for us in that country.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.