Supporters of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement rallied Thursday on the National Mall to advocate passage of the trade agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported. The event followed a series of events across the country to rally support for the deal.
The National Pork Producers Council promoted passage of the USMCA during visits with lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week.
"Last year, Canada and Mexico took over 40% of the pork that was exported from the U.S. and they are expected to be a large percentage this year as well," said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. "USMCA will strengthen our strong economic ties with our North American neighbors.”
“We need Congress to pass the USMCA trade agreement to bring certainty to our already positive trade relationship with our closest neighbors and build on that relationship with new opportunities and commitments,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
In Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson, a farm cooperative general manager and a corn grower urged Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., to vote yes on USMCA. Cleaver told Missouri Ruralist he is “trying to be” a yes vote, but he has concerns with the framing of the USMCA, particularly in the area of minimum wage.
The National Farmers Union is calling for improvements to the USMCA before final passage. The improvements include strengthening labor, environment, and enforcement provisions; rectifing language related to prescription drugs; strengthening anti-dumping protections for agricultural goods; and re-establishing Country-of-Origin Labeling authority.
House Democrats said Thursday they are making progress with the Trump administration on fixing their concerns with USMCA, Politico reports. The formal response from the U.S. Trade Representative on Wednesday afternoon marked the administration’s first attempt to address concerns from Democrats regarding the agreement’s labor, environment, enforcement and prescription drug provisions.
USMCA has been called NAFTA 2.0. The North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented on Jan. 1, 1994. NAFTA remains in effect.