November 21, 2019

Ag Groups Plead ‘Pass USMCA’ Soon

 |  By: Sonja Begemann

While all eyes are on U.S. House impeachment hearings, rumors swirl the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) could come up for a vote this month.

“Pass USMCA—we know the world of ag is shifting,” says Bill Gordon, vice president of the American Soybean Association. “[Commodity] prices are the same as they were in the ’70s and ’80s but we’re borrowing more money for inputs [to grow the crop].”

Last week, Pro Farmer Policy Analyst Jim Wiesemeyer and Farm Journal News Director John Herath spoke with Democratic House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson who said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to get the USMCA vote on the fast-track.

“[USMCA Working Group Chair] Richard [Neal] (D-Mass.) told me he is going to try to move [the vote] when we get back next week, or the week after, so he’s pushing hard,” Peterson said on a recent Signal to Noise Podcast. “It’s going to get done. The question is, is it going to get done in those two weeks or is it going to get done in December?”

When USMCA finally hits the floor, Wiesemeyer says he believes there is enough Democratic support in the House to pass it. Ultimately, he thinks there is enough momentum to at least get it passed before the end of 2019.

“Ninety-five percent of mouths are outside of the U.S.,” says Brian Kuehl, co-executive director of Farmers for Free Trade. “We are dependent on selling food outside of the U.S. International trade is the underpinning of ag.”