USMCA in question

A former U.S. trade representative says the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement might be in question. AgriPulse reports Rob Portman, now an Ohio GOP senator, is concerned that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto might not sign the deal until U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs are lifted. The three presidents are supposed to sign the agreement Friday.

Portman says the U.S. and Mexican negotiators are working to resolve the tariff issue. Mexican officials reportedly had expected the tariffs to be lifted when the preliminary USMCA was reached in August.

If the signing happens, Jim Bair of U.S. Apple Association says it will mean the removal of tariffs on agriculture exports including a 20 percent tariff on apples by Mexico.

“We’re anxious to get the trade disputes settled,” Blair told Brownfield Ag News, “because now that we’ve grown a high-quality crop, now we’ve got to market it.”

The agreement should improve long-term access to the world market with the removal of Canada’s Class 7 pricing system, said Brodie Staple, a Wisconsin dairy farmer with Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.

“That was really the big thing that we were concerned about in the USMCA,” said Staple, in an interview provided by the USDA.

Brownfield Anchor/Reporter Nicole Heslip contributed to this article.

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