Oct 01, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC -- Late Sunday night negotiations closed with Canada to create a new trilateral trade agreement with the United States and Mexico to replace the twenty-plus year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was a key trade policy objective of the Trump administration, and President Trump noted on Monday, "It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world."
“USA Rice has long called for the conclusion of negotiations to modernize NAFTA in a way that preserves and strengthens access for U.S. rice in Mexico and Canada, two of our largest export markets,” said Bobby Hanks, chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee and a Louisiana miller. “The USMCA does this by preserving duty free access and improving on the sanitary and phytosanitary provisions of the deal. We applaud the administration for bringing these talks to a close.”
The United States and Mexico reached agreement several weeks ago on modernized text but several difficult issues including Canada’s dairy policy and access for U.S. exports, dispute settlement provisions, and the treatment of auto imports from Canada under pending U.S. trade actions caused negotiations with Canada to go down to the wire.
In the end, Canada reportedly agreed to increase access for U.S. dairy exports above that agreed in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and to change certain domestic dairy policies; the U.S. agreed to preserve certain dispute settlement procedures from NAFTA important to Canada; and the two countries reached an accommodation on the level of auto imports from Canada should action be taken on auto imports by the United States in the future under Section 232 authority.
“While there are a number of procedural hurdles to go through on the U.S. side in connection with statutory requirements for congressional consideration and approval of the USMCA, this agreement is good news for U.S. rice producers, millers, and exporters,” concluded Hanks.