President Trump, along with leaders from Mexico and Canada, signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Nov. 30, 2018. Since then, Canada began the process to vote on implementing the legislation in May of this year and Mexico's Senate overwhelmingly ratified the agreement shortly after in June.
However, months continue to pass without its ratification by the United States Congress. When the House of Representatives returns in September, nothing is more important than Speaker Nancy Pelosi bringing the USMCA up for a vote. Our manufacturers and producers are relying on this significant tri-country pact for the stability needed in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
USMCA is a win for the United States, and Congress must act now to ratify it.
In our quickly-shifting world of trade, this agreement is a crucial step in fostering global competition where all parties are playing by the same rules and are held to the same standards. The USMCA will improve trade with our counterparts to the north and south so we can remain competitive and grow our economy. Above all, we must ensure our farmers, producers and manufacturers are able to flourish, that bad actors are held accountable on the world trade stage, and that the integrity of American innovation remains the best in the world.
Robust innovation is a staple of our American economy and society. To safeguard American innovation, proper security measures must be in place to protect our intellectual property. It is clear the political, financial and digital landscape of today is vastly different than the landscape of NAFTA's conception. To keep pace with 21st century changes, we must take this opportunity to modernize and improve NAFTA.
The USMCA builds on the legacy of NAFTA to provide greater security for intellectual property by creating and enforcing cybersecurity and IP safeguards. Through these stronger protections afforded by USMCA, we are actively working to support American jobs.
USMCA is also an incredible opportunity to put our farmers back on the path of success by creating and sustaining thousands of American farm jobs. The International Trade Commission (ITC) released an assessment estimating that as a result of this agreement, total annual U.S. agricultural and food exports would increase by $2.2 billion.
USMCA supports farmers by reducing barriers that are currently present under NAFTA, including eliminating tariffs on dairy and poultry exports to Canada. The ITC economic impact report forecasts $314.5 million of additional dairy exports compared to current markets, a remarkable source of profit for our dairy producers in Kentucky.
Along with dairy, poultry is a major economic driver and job provider in the 1st District. The USMCA would increase and clarify the United States' market access for chicken, with a forecasted $183.5 million more in U.S. exports of poultry meat to Canada. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture estimates that Kentucky alone will boast $213 million in agricultural exports to Canada and $49 million in exports to Mexico. Farmers and producers I've met with across the 1st District see the great opportunity for growth in their industries under USMCA.
Of course, this is only possible if Congress finally votes to implement the agreement.
The United States, Mexico and Canada made this pact to improve and strengthen future North American trade relations. Realizing that USMCA will set us on a path of success for decades to come, I commend the Trump Administration for putting forth the hard work needed to negotiate this pact. Stronger, modernized trade is crucial for the future of American prosperity.
Partisan disputes over USMCA are hindering its ratification and we are losing out on valuable jobs and opportunity. House Speaker Pelosi must get serious about bringing this legislation for a vote in Congress. USMCA is a win for the U.S., and we must act now to see that this blueprint for stronger trade is realized.
Rep. James Comer is the congressman for the state's 1st Congressional District. Contact him with questions or concerns in his Washington, D.C., office at 202-225-3115, in the Tompkinsville office at 270-487-9509, in the Paducah office at 270-408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville office by calling 270-487-9509.