“The United States, Mexico and Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) is a ‘positive step forward’ for trade. With the exception of dairy, the USMCA agreement brings relatively few changes to ag trade, compared to the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Thanks to this new agreement, Mexico will remain a solid importer of Iowa corn, soybean products, pork, beef and turkey. While Iowa isn’t a huge dairy exporter, the new agreement can still bring a moderate impact to the industry, because it has more favorable tariffs for the nation’s big dairy industries, primarily located in Wisconsin, Idaho and New York state.
However, in Iowa, which tops the nation in hog production, this new agreement is, in part, a positive step forward for our hog farmers. That’s because Iowa and Canada are part of the same supply networks--we get substantial amounts of feeder pigs out of Canada and add value to them with Iowa corn, labor and our slaughtering capacity. We then ship pork back to Ontario and Quebec, which are essential markets for our Iowa hog farmers. Challenges still remain with Mexico in the hog market.
But, it is key that all three countries engaged in the USMCA, didn’t make the negotiation a food fight. Ag trade remained consistent while all details of the agreement were underway, which is in sharp contrast to how China has negotiated trade issues.”
Information provided by Iowa Farm Bureau.