DES MOINES, Iowa -- Congressional Democrats announced a modified North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. USMCA will replace the 25-year-old NAFTA agreement and is expected to have a huge impact on Iowa’s agriculture industry.
“There's a lot of upsides in this agreement, certainly in some of the regulatory programs across the two borders, but dairy and poultry exports have been two areas where we think we will get even more access to, especially the Canadian market, because of the passage of USMCA,” said Mike Naig, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture.
The agreement would give the United States the ability to export 3.6 percent of Canada’s dairy market. That's an increase of the existing standard by one percent. Also, in the next six years, the U.S. would be able to increase its export of eggs to 10 million dozen, which is something that will greatly impact Iowa as the number one egg producer in the country.
Additional provisions also exist for increased exports of Iowa pork, beef, corn and soybeans. The majority of these products will be tariff free.
“It will make sure that we somewhat solidify the marketplace so that farmers that are in upstream and downstream economies related with agriculture have some sense of certainty,” said U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne.
Last year Iowa exported $6.6 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico, with $1.1 billion coming from the state’s agriculture industry.
Before USMCA can be enacted, the House and the Senate still need to vote on the agreement before getting final approval from the president and both Mexican and Canadian legislators.
“We would like to see that done before Christmas, but we're running out of days here for Congress to act, so there's still some work to do to get this done,” said Naig.