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NAFTA Countries Reach New Trade Agreement

NAFTA countries reach new trade agreement

Leaders of Canada and the United States reached a trade agreement, along with Mexico, that will serve as the successor to NAFTA.

Announced Sept. 30 by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, the new agreement will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

In a joint statement, the two offices said:

“Today, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home. We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force. We would like to thank Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo for his close collaboration over the past 13 months.”

Trade was a big topic at the United Fresh Washington Conference Sept. 24-26. Ted McKinney, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, said Sept. 24 he was optimistic for an agreement with Canada after the U.S. came to one with Mexico previously.

“We are grateful Mexico realized the trade agreement (NAFTA) wasn’t as equitable as it seemed,” McKinney said.

United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel released a statement Oct. 1 on the agreement.

“United Fresh is encouraged by the news that a revised tri-lateral agreement has been reached between the United States, Mexico and Canada. The strong relationships our members have established between these three countries have helped enable the growth of the fresh produce industry over the last quarter century. Coming on the heels of United Fresh’s annual Washington Conference and the inaugural Global Trade Forum in which this issue was front, and center and where attendees heard directly from key U.S. negotiators, the announcement of this revised agreement highlights the importance of our continued engagement on key policy issues by those in the produce industry. United Fresh looks forward to working with Congress to achieve the swift approval of this new agreement.”

President Donald Trump tweeted Oct. 1, “It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world.”

The administration told the media Sept. 30 that it plans to sign the deal by the end of November and send it to Congress in early 2019.


Greg Johnson is the Director of Media Development at Blue Book Services, Inc.