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USMCA Overwhelmingly Passes in the Senate

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement passed out of the U.S. Senate by an overwhelming vote of 89-10 Thursday. For agriculture, USMCA is estimated to increase U.S. exports by $2 billion. The vote comes just one day after the United States signed a new trade agreement with China, which promises to increase ag exports by tens of billions of dollars. President Trump took to Twitter after the passage, saying “the farmers are really happy with the new China trade deal and the soon to be signed deal with Mexico and Canada.”
 
Now, the deal heads to President Trump for a signature. The president is expected to sign the agreement sometime next week during a formal ceremony. Mexico’s legislature approved the trade deal last month, and all eyes are on Canada to ratify USMCA. The Canadian parliament isn’t scheduled to return until January 27.
 

Rallying Support for USMCA Ratification

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with former agriculture secretaries, held a press conference on Thursday to rally support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. There is a window of opportunity for Congress to ratify the agreement between now and the end of the year. One concern from House Democrats is labor provisions. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there are enforceability consequences in the USMCA to ensure labor concerns are addressed. Read more.
 
The U.S. Dry Bean Council, including the Northarvest Bean Grower Association, has also sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer asking for ratification of the USMCA. That letter can be read here.

Dry Bean Scene

Farm organizations and members of Congress gathered in Washington D.C. on Thursday for a rally supporting ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Hear more in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Mexico Approves the USMCA

On Wednesday, the Mexico Senate approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement by a vote of 114 to 4. Mexico is the first of three countries to ratify the trade deal. Now, all eyes are on Canada and the U.S. to approve the agreement. An implementation bill has been introduced in the Canadian Parliament. Earlier this week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Democratic concerns with labor and environmental provisions in the USMCA can “be sorted out quickly.”

2019 Bean Congress in the Books

The 2019 U.S.-Mexico International Bean Congress was held February 7-9 in Cancun, Mexico. During the event, seminars, discussions and one-on-one business meetings were held.

The U.S. dry bean industry was able to gather with the Mexican trade to celebrate numerous concurrent events such as:

  • The signing of the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA)
  • World Pulses Day
  • The long standing partnership with Mexican buyers

This year’s attendance was high with over 150 buyers, traders and industry representatives present. During the seminar portion of the Congress, speakers discussed World Pulses Day, new trends with beans and bean-based ingredients, U.S. and Mexico bean production trends and an overview of the Mexican political panorama.

Joe Mauch, Kevin Regan, Tom Kennelly and Tim Courneya represented the Northarvest Bean Growers Association the this year’s Congress.

(Source: U.S. Dry Bean Council)