PRESS RELEASE: ITC Report Underscores Importance of NAFTA and Passing USMCA for US Agriculture
For Immediate Release
Contact: Caitlin Eannello 240-423-4345 (Cell)
ITC Report Underscores Importance of NAFTA and Passing USMCA for US Agriculture
Washington, D.C. (April 18, 2019) – Today, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its report on the economic benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA). NAWG President and Lavon, Texas farmer Ben Scholz issued the following statement in response:
“It is critical for Congress to understand how substantial USMCA is for agriculture, especially the undervalued wheat market. As the International Trade Commission (ITC) report just assesses the USMCA agreement as compared to the status quo (NAFTA), in which U.S. wheat farmers already have free market access, it doesn’t fully capture the importance of USMCA.
“Once NAFTA was implemented, U.S. wheat exports to Mexico shot up to an annual average of almost 3 million metric tons (more than 100 million bushels). This made Mexico the largest U.S. wheat importer in the world in the 2016/17 marketing year
“Additionally, USMCA captures the original intentions of NAFTA while improving some of the provisions for wheat growers. It retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for our long-time flour milling customers in Mexico. Furthermore, the USMCA makes important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the border with Canada by working to fix the broken grain grading system and making trade more reciprocal along the U.S.-Canadian border.
“The ITC report is not reflective of vast benefits USMCA will bring to agriculture. A vote for USMCA means more jobs for Americans, stronger export markets for farmers to sell their crop, and billions of dollars added to the economy.”
NAWG is the primary representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 21 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at state and national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members and the public.