USMCA: A Nearly Five Year Journey

Earlier this week, NAFTA offically gave way to USMCA. And agricultural leaders are quick to point out the process was a long one.

It all started really in early 2017 when President Trump characterized then 23-year-old NAFTA as a “terrible terrible trade deal.” The president said he was trying to get a new deal with Canada and Mexico and in early August 2017.

“United States will be ready to pursue full negotiations with Canada and Mexico as soon as August 16th,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Those negotiations eventually leading to an agreement that leaders from the three countries signed in late November 2018. When the agreement was signed, it was praised by both President Trump and Ag Secretary, Sonny Perdue.

“This a very very big deal for our farmers,” Secretary Perdue said at the time. “Chapter by chapter,  line by line this will improve relationships for agriculture but also in the over greater economy.”

But it would take more than a year for the deal to be ratified by the legislatures of the three countries. Canada was the last to do so in March of this year.


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