Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, United Fresh, California Fresh Fruit Association, and Western Growers Share Support of USMCA
UNITED STATES - It’s been over a year now since the U.S., Mexico, and Canada came together to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). While the past year has been ripe with efforts to push the USMCA forward, it wasn’t until this week that an agreement was reached to move ahead with the formal adoption of this new agreement. The next step is a Congressional vote to ratify the agreement.
With the USMCA this close to passing, many of produce’s finest are celebrating the agreement and doubling down on their efforts to encourage Congress to vote.
“We urge all House and Senate members to vote 'yes' for the USMCA. Bipartisan support is crucial in ensuring that there is stability for U.S. companies involved in trade,” said FPAA President Lance Jungmeyer. “This is crucial for the economic growth of all of North America. We appreciate the hard work from Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Neal, and Ambassador Lighthizer in addressing the concerns that now clear the way for passage of this important trade agreement.”
According to an FPAA press release, the association is optimistic that the efforts of the abovementioned government leaders and negotiators from Mexico and Canada will result in the passage of an agreement that will continue to strengthen U.S. businesses and trade in North America.
“We are excited to see what the next 25 years will bring within the new framework of the USMCA. So many improvements were adopted to better leverage North American cooperation and collaboration, and that type of close working relationship is what has made the U.S., Canada, and Mexico the strongest trading block in the world,” continued Jungmeyer. “The USMCA is the right agreement to bring us into the 21st century and beyond. I look forward to broad, bipartisan support to pass the agreement.”
United Fresh’s President and CEO, Tom Stenzel, joined Jungmeyer in celebrating the move. He also reiterated the importance of the USMCA as it represents one of the most robust and dynamic trading blocks in the world with 14 million jobs associated with trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, as noted in a press release.
“International trade is a critical business tool throughout the entire supply chain of the fresh produce industry,” Stenzel commented. “Most importantly with consumers demanding year-round access to fresh produce, we need the certainty of a strong USMCA agreement. United Fresh has always supported free and fair trade globally seeking to open markets to U.S. products while ensuring equivalent access for foreign products to the United States. With so much uncertainty in Washington, D.C. these days, we urge Congress to act swiftly and in a bipartisan manner to pass this important agreement. Every day this agreement is not ratified further creates uncertainty with our most valuable trading partners.”
The California Fresh Fruit Association added to the FPAA’s and United Fresh’s support, while also emphasizing the importance of the USMCA to California growers. In a press release, the association outlined how the new agreement will help improve the Golden State's market access in Mexico and Canada—two vital trade partners for California’s fresh fruit growers and shippers.
“Passage of USMCA would boost both national and rural economies, while at the same time building upon the successes of NAFTA. Our members look forward to continuing to provide the world’s freshest fruit to consumers around the world,” added CFFA President Ian LeMay. “Passage of the USMCA will increase U.S. exports and ensure that our country’s trade agreements protect American businesses, farmers, and workers. The California Fresh Fruit Association would like to strongly encourage members of Congress to pass the USMCA.”
Western Growers also applauded the forward momentum of the USMCA agreement.
“Western Growers applauds the Administration and a strong, bipartisan contingent of congressional representatives for their diligent work in producing an outstanding trade agreement for American agriculture. We commend President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer, Ambassador Doud, and the Administration’s team for their success in renegotiating NAFTA and securing freer and fairer trade opportunities for our country," said Tom Nassif, Western Growers' CEO and President. “In this turbulent trade environment, American farmers need certainty more than ever. The USMCA not only reaffirms our strong economic ties with our North American neighbors, it offers a new model for how U.S. trade deals should be structured in the future."
Nassif went on to note that the new deal is truly a meeting of both sides, as the USMCA helps address the concerns of all sides, which will enhance economic opportunities for businesses across the U.S. as a result.
“We urge Congress to quickly approve this agreement and deliver a victory for American farmers," Nassif continued. "We are hopeful that this spirit of bipartisan cooperation between the Administration and Congress will extend into other public policy debates impacting the agriculture industry, including the need to resolve the labor crisis facing our nation’s farms.”
Once the agreement is sent to Congress for a vote, Congress has 90 congressional days to consider the USMCA, including 45 for the House and 45 for the Senate.
As we move closer to the vote, AndNowUKnow will continue to report.