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Trump signs USMCA, bringing it closer to implementation

During a White House ceremony on Wednesday 29 January, President Donald Trump signed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law.

30 January 2020, at 10:08am

Though the agreement has already been approved by Mexico, it will not be fully implemented until it is ratified by the Canadian government.

National Farmers Union (NFU) opposed the free trade framework established by USMCA’s predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the organisation initially withheld endorsement for USMCA when it was introduced over a year ago. However, the NFU Board of Directors later voted to support it after the House Democrats made several notable improvements. In a statement, NFU President Roger Johnson thanked House Democrats for working to strengthen the deal and applauded its passage:

"Since NAFTA set a precedent for unfettered free trade two-and-a-half decades ago, our nation’s trade deals have favoured the interests of multinational corporations at the expense of family farmers and ranchers and rural economies. With the passage of USMCA, we are hopeful that this era is finally over and that some equity will be restored to international markets.

“We are especially pleased to see significant improvements over earlier versions of this deal, including stronger labour, environmental and enforcement provisions as well as the elimination of giveaways to the pharmaceutical industry. These improvements are the direct result of many months of negotiations by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats, for which we commend them.

“Though USMCA is a big step forward, it should be a floor for future trade deals, not a ceiling; when negotiating with other trading partners, we encourage the Trump administration and Congress to build on this momentum to establish fair trade agreements that protect rural jobs, ensure fair prices for farmers, and restore sovereignty to the United States."