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Tag Archives: NAFTA

New trade deal helps, but hurdles remain

The newly renegotiated trade agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico offers farmers a bit more security about markets for dairy, corn and other products, but hefty Mexican tariffs still in place hinder business, according to an agricultural trade specialist with The Ohio State University.

Under the new trade agreement, dairy farmers in the United States will have 3.75% more access to the Canadian dairy market. That means they’ll be able to sell more of their cheese, milk and other products there without those products getting taxed heavily at the Canadian border.

“Dairy farmers in Ohio should be happy,” said Ian Sheldon, an agricultural economist who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The agreement also reassures corn growers, who may have worried about not being able to sell to Mexico, a significant importer of U.S.

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New North American trade deal negotiated prior to deadline

Just prior to the Sept. 30 midnight deadline the United States, Canada, and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), renamed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Mexico had been on board weeks earlier, but negotiations with Canada went right to the wire.

As with all things trade related, there was criticism of the deal.

“We have really hurt relationships with our major ally … for the sake of a few gallons of milk,” Jeffrey Rosensweig, a business professor at Emory University, said on CNN.

While those gallons of milk may not seem like much to some, however, the dairy portion of USMCA and the trade deal as a whole was a very big deal for U.S. agriculture.

In a joint statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region.

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With some major exceptions, new deal has old NAFTA feel

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Right before a deadline set by President Trump, the U.S. and Canada came to an agreement on the framework for an updated North American Free Trade Agreement, called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It’s a shot in the arm for American agriculture, which has been struggling as trade disputes with U.S. trading partners dragged on.

“It’s the first step in really getting us from this summer of disruption in global trade and getting us back to a fall of business resumption and that will bring stability in North American markets,” said Daniel Ujczo, International Trade and Customs Lawyer with Dickinson-Wright in Columbus. “I think over the next 60 days we will start to see steel and aluminum tariffs lifted which will end the retaliation in Mexico. That will be good news for the agriculture community, who will not have to worry so much about losing those customers not only in Mexico, but throughout the Americas.”

While it’s good news, he says there’s still significant work to do, including getting the agreement through Congress.

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Trade progress with NAFTA

President Donald Trump announced in August that the U.S. and Mexico have reached a deal on terms to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), putting pressure on Canada to reach agreement with the two nations jointly or through separate bilateral agreements.

“The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to keep up with 21st Century innovations. And we mutually pledge to work together with Mexico to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency, and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products,” said Sonny Perdue, USDA Secretary. “This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers.

“We now hope that Canada will see the need to settle all of the outstanding issues between our two nations as well, and restore us to a true North American Free Trade Agreement.”

The news of the progress was well received by the agricultural community.

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Markets have plenty to watch as summer heats up

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

USDA with its weekly crop progress report on May 29 put the U.S. corn planting at 92%. Huge amounts of corn were planted during the first three weeks of May, though northwest Ohio struggled severely to plant corn and soybeans timely this spring. Heavy rains fell throughout much of May causing significant delay in planting until the last few days of May. The May 29 report revealed Ohio had just 82% of its corn planted, leaving 621,000 acres yet to be done.

It is interesting to note that comments on the stock market at the end of May suggest that stock traders were growing weary, paying less attention to trade developments with China and other U.S. trading partners. Meanwhile, the opposite is taking place for grains, as traders seem to hang onto any and all news of China and its trade posture with the U.S. Producers want to be optimistic, yet aware the big price decline could be just moments away.

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Mr. President, do not take farm vote for granted

I know that many people involved in agriculture, myself included, were thrilled to see President Donald Trump take time out of his very busy schedule to visit the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Nashville in January.

In that speech, we found out that the President is hearing about and working on so many issues that will affect farm country. From a new farm bill, to NAFTA, immigration reform, infrastructure, or countless regulations that are currently hindering progress in our industry, Mr. Trump mentioned the many woes facing agriculture as he spoke directly to thousands of farmers and ranchers from that stage in Music City.

The elephant in the room when it comes to rural America and politics at the highest levels of government is whether President Trump will truly take into account why he holds the title of Commander-In-Chief. If not for farm country, the oval office décor would have a completely different vibe.

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