DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa farmers say having the USMCA signed is a huge relief.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said that agreement, as well as the phase one trade deal with China, are very important to the state and the country as a whole.
Iowa farmer Lance Lillibridge said the USMCA will provide much-needed certainty for farmers across the country but it’s going to take some time before they feel the effects.
“Being patient with this thing is definitely going to payoff It does get frustrating because you don’t know what’s going to happen over the next few years or months but the certainty of having it done now is fantastic. It’s a really good feeling,” Lillibridge said.
Naig said this trade agreement increases access to both the Canadian and Mexican markets on a long-term basis.
“We will have increased access for the Canadian market for dairy and poultry, increased regulatory harmonization across the two borders,” Naig said.
Lillibridge said this deal is very important for him as he produces corn soybeans and cattle.
“Mexico is so important to us with corn it’s our number one customer in corn and DDG’s and Canada is our number one customer in Ethanol and those things are huge to me as a farmer,”
Naig said he hopes this is just the beginning of trade expansion.
“The administration sent a strong signal today with this signing of this agreement with the work that’s been done with china with work that’s been done with Japan and that says that we are going to aggressively pursue opening markets and expanding markets for US companies. That benefits US agriculture that absolutely benefits Iowa agriculture,” Naig said.
Mexico has ratified the agreement but Canada must still sign off before it takes full effect.