Grain Growers of Canada calls for quick passage of USMCA

WINNIPEG, (MarketsFarm) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) have called upon the federal government to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as soon as possible.

The USMCA is also known as the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

“Our farmer members across Canada need a stable market to succeed and to grow. By signing this historic agreement, the Government of Canada is committing to a meaningful upgrade to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and ensuring our North American market access is preserved,” GGC Chair and Alberta farmer Jeff Nielsen said in a prepared statement issued on Monday.

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his Liberal government would introduce legislation to ratify the USMCA on Jan. 29.

Mexico already ratified the new trade pact that supersedes the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As well, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a motion approving the deal and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it this week.

The GGC gave its support to the agreement and said delaying ratification would not be in the best interests of Canadian farmers.

“Canadian grain growers — and any Canadian who relies on trade with our closest partners — needs tariff-free access as soon as possible. If we don’t join the USA and Mexico in ratifying CUSMA, growth opportunities with our largest trading partners will be stunted,” Nielsen said and called on all parties in the House of Commons to work together on ratification.

Besides the Greens, which said they will cautiously support ratification, the opposition Conservatives stated they have a number of questions about the trade deal they want answered regarding agriculture and other industries. The New Democrats said they’re not in a rush to approve the USMCA and want to study it in detail.

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