FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2019
Contact: [email protected]
WASHINGTON, DC – Food and beverage industry workers recently have sent more than 10,000 individual letters to their Members of Congress to urge passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), according to food industry associations pushing for USMCA approval. This letter campaign is just one part of a growing national grassroots effort urging Congress to act on the USMCA this year.
The letters, sent by workers employed in the U.S. food and beverage industry, emphasized the economic benefits that a ratified USMCA will bring to the U.S. business community and consumers alike. Coordinated by the Corn Refiners Association, the effort featured participation by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), National Restaurant Association (NRA), International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), North American Meat Institute (NAMI), National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), and other members of the USMCA Coalition.
“The agriculture related benefits of North American trade reach far into our economy. More than 70% of the agriculture related jobs created by NAFTA were outside of the farm sector. American food and beverage workers are telling their Members of Congress that we urgently need approval of USMCA,” said John Bode, CRA President and CEO. “Both parties need to set politics aside and pass this important trade agreement.”
In recent weeks, members of the USMCA Coalition have been urging Members of Congress to announce their support for the agreement. The Coalition has reminded Congress that the food and agriculture industry is the economic backbone of rural America and an essential driver of the overall economy, accounting for one-fifth of American economic activity.
“America’s dairy industry is proud to help feed the world through the export of healthy and high-quality dairy products, but we need certainty in our trade relationships to continue this mission,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “Congress has a chance to deliver this much-needed certainty and other benefits by swiftly passing USMCA. This modernized trade deal will bring new opportunities for American agriculture and demonstrate to our trading partners that the United States is serious about securing fair and reciprocal trade agreements.”
“USMCA will secure positive gains for the dairy industry by strengthening our trusted trade relationship in Mexico and opening new markets in Canada while updating trade rules for the benefit of all rural America,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “The dairy industry estimates that USMCA will bolster dairy farm revenue by nearly $550 million over the first six years of implementation. America’s farmers are asking Congress with a united voice: pass USMCA now. It’s time for Congress to heed that call and act.”
Under the predecessor agreement to USMCA, American food and agriculture annual exports to Canada and Mexico grew over 400 percent, reaching over $40 billion. USMCA, in addition to securing existing market opportunities, will provide enhanced market access for dairy, poultry, and eggs; establish modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards that are the gold standard for future trade agreements; and simplify customs procedures. Building on previously established market access and modernizing non-tariff measures, USMCA will deepen the export competitiveness of U.S. food and agriculture, boosting U.S. jobs and economic security.
More information about the agreement and the coalition is available at www.USMCACoalition.org
The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, starch, advanced bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.