WASHINGTON — Key baking and grain groups applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (U.S.M.C.A.) and have urged the U.S. Senate to ratify the agreement as well.
The House of Representatives on Dec. 19 approved by a vote of 385 to 41 the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 5430). The House referred the bill to the Senate, which was expected to consider the measure early next year.
“The U.S.M.C.A. is an important step in further strengthening our ties with key trading partners Canada and Mexico, ensuring both freer markets and fairer trade for the food and agricultural industry,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the American Bakers Association. “While we have concerns regarding footnote language targeting the baking industry for enhanced inspections, we are confident that our industry’s stellar workforce record will render those inspections moot.”
U.S. wheat growers also were pleased with the bill’s passage in the House.
“Agriculture desperately needed a win for economic recovery, and passing the U.S.M.C.A. was that win,” said Ben Scholz, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). “NAWG applauds those members of Congress for their support and hard work to advance this critical trade deal one step closer to the finish line. We encourage the Senate to follow its lead and pass this deal early in the new year.”
Doug Goyings, chairman of the U.S. Wheat Associates, added, “Mexico’s flour millers import more U.S. wheat than any other country, and they have been very anxious about the outcome of this trade agreement. At the end of a conference with those millers last June, we agreed to work together to get U.S.M.C.A. implemented. Our colleagues at NAWG have enthusiastically joined that effort on Capitol Hill, and we thank them for their support.”
Kevin Ross, president of the National Corn Growers Association, said U.S. corn farmers have been working hard to secure approval of the U.S.M.C.A. throughout the past year, sending emails, having meetings and making phone calls in support of the bill.
“All of agriculture should be incredibly proud to see these efforts pay off with such a strong, bipartisan vote,” Mr. Ross said. “We wouldn’t be at this stage in the ratification process without the hard work of individual farmers across the country. Ratifying U.S.M.C.A. has been N.C.G.A.’s top legislative priority because Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable markets.
“N.C.G.A. thanks members of the House for their votes in support, along with President Trump and his administration’s continued efforts to come to a bipartisan consensus. It’s now up to members of the U.S. Senate to quickly pass U.S.M.C.A. in the new year.”
The American Soybean Association also expressed strong appreciation for the bill’s passage in the House.
“This is a win for soybean farmers and a win for the administration and Congress,” said Bill Gordon, president of the A.S.A. “Their efforts to pass a free trade deal that can restore certainty and stability to an important export market for our farmers demonstrates that they can accomplish great things working in unison.”