USMCA to benefit Oklahoma agricultural producers

USMCA to benefit Oklahoma agriculture producers-7/9/2020

CHATTANOOGA, Okla. (TNN) -The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement recently took effect and Oklahoma farmers say they couldn’t be happier.

The international agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA, and it's expected to help expand agriculture exports.

The USMCA went into effect July 1st, solidifying a trade agreement that will provide an additional $2 billion in agricultural exports between the three nations.

“This is an agreement that has been worked on for a long time,” said Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Blayne Arthur. “Certainly from the Ag perspective, something that’s been very important to our ag producers. It really ensures that we have equitable trade between the three countries.”

Secretary Arthur says the new agreement will create a level playing field.

“We certainly hope that producers will see increased income,” said Arthur. “Optimistically, that’s what we hope to see from this agreement. And I really think that is a possibility.”

According to 5th generation farmer and Oklahoma Farm Bureau member Adam Bohl, one of the benefits of this agreement will be for wheat production in the state.

“Some of the improvements are Canada and Mexico will treat all imports from the US, and grade them on the same scale system as they would domestically,” said Bohl. “Canada previously had graded imported wheat differently than they did domestically.”

Bohl says this agreement provides a much-needed dose of optimism and certainty to agriculture producers.

“It also gives me the security of knowing we have this agreement for the next 16 years,” said Bohl. “Production agriculture, we can’t think about our plans for today or tomorrow. We’re making decisions for anywhere from 6 to 24 months from now on our production.”

Oklahoma dairy farmers will also see benefits, as Canada has agreed to buy more dairy from the US.

The USMCA will expire after 16 years. The deal is also subject to a review every six years, at which point the US, Mexico, and Canada can decide to extend it.

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