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USMCA Trade Deal Goes into Effect
North Dakota Ag Connection - 07/02/2020

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect Wednesday.

"The USMCA brings relationships with our two closest trading partners into the 21st century," North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. "The agreement includes improvements for food and agriculture that will better serve farmers, ranchers and businesses and will lead to fairer trade and expanded exports."

Some of the key achievements include:

- Expanded access for American food and ag products

- Elimination of Canada's milk classes 6 and 7

- Addressing agricultural biotechnology to support 21st century innovations

- Reducing trade-distorting policies, improves transparency and ensures non-discriminatory treatment for agricultural product standards

- Ensuring fair treatment for quality requirements for wheat and other ag products

- Enhancing rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures

- Providing important disciplines on geographic indications

- Allowing market access for certain cheese names

- Prohibiting barriers for alcohol beverages

- Providing protections for proprietary food formulas

NDFB said it was pleased to see USMCA go into effect Wednesday.

"It is important to focus on the positive changes, as we move forward during these challenging times. The USMCA is a step in the right direction for farmers and ranchers," the group said in a statement. "One positive change included in the agreement allows U.S. wheat to be treated more fairly, thanks to Canada's agreement to grade U.S. wheat no less favorably than its own. The agreement also gives U.S. dairy products access to an additional 3.6 percent of Canada's dairy market."

Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, "We appreciate the administration for their work to secure this agreement and bring it to full implementation," said Hoeven. "USMCA ensures that Canada will no longer be able to automatically downgrade U.S. wheat to feed grade, which is an important provision we worked to secure."

According to the International Trade Commission, USMCA will increase U.S. agricultural and food exports to Canada and Mexico. The senator worked to ensure that USMCA eliminated Canada's automatic downgrade of imported U.S. wheat to feed grade, which will help ensure that grading standards and services are non-discriminatory.

Additionally, USMCA makes needed modernizations on intellectual property, digital trade and financial services.

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