Iowa Cattlemen pass policy urging USMCA ratification

Courtesy of: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association – 7/12/2019

Ratification of the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement is a top priority for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. This was made evident at the June 10 ICA board meeting where an interim directive was passed unanimously.

Partisan politics are delaying ratification of a trade agreement with two of the United States’ top trading partners. Trade with Canada and Mexico adds $70 to the value of each head of cattle in Iowa and is crucial to Iowa’s beef business. The expedited trade promotion authority timeline now allows the President to submit the final implementing legislation to Congress.

Once the legislation is submitted to Congress, the US House of Representatives has 60 session days to vote on the legislation. With less than 60 session days in the calendar year, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association recognizes the importance of bipartisan support of USMCA in both Chambers of Congress.

“As a young farmer and cattlemen, USMCA is vital to the success of my business,” says Will Longinaker, vice-chair of the ICA Beef Products committee. “I urge the Iowa Congressional delegation, especially my representative, Congresswoman Axne, to publicly support the trade agreement.”

The interim directive reads as follows:

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

WHEREAS international trade currently adds more than $300 to the value of each head of cattle in Iowa, and

WHEREAS ongoing trade negotiations have created economic uncertainty for Iowa’s 27,000 beef producers, and

WHEREAS the North American Free Trade Agreement led to increased markets for beef in Canada and Mexico and trade with those two countries adds $70 to the value of each head of cattle in Iowa, and

WHEREAS the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement would preserve the benefits of NAFTA for Iowa’s cattle producers, and

WHEREAS the expedited trade promotion authority process timeline now allows the President to submit the final implementing legislation to Congress, and

WHEREAS upon submission of the implementing legislation, the US House of Representatives has 60 session days to vote on the legislation, and

WHEREAS there are less than 60 session days left in this calendar year, and

WHEREAS partisan political issues are currently delaying ratification.

THEREFORE, BE IT DIRECTED, the Iowa Cattlemen urges bipartisan support of the US-Mexico-Canada agreement from both Chambers of Congress

BE IT FURTHER DIRECTED, the Iowa Cattlemen urge the Iowa Congressional delegation, including Representatives Axne, Loebsack, Finkenauer and King, to express support publicly for the US-Mexico-Canada agreement

BE IT FURTHER DIRECTED, Iowa Cattlemen urge Congress to vote to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada agreement within the next 25 session days.

The ICA board included the interim directive in a letter sent to Iowa’s congressional delegation the same day. The board consists of 44 Iowa cattle producers who represent 9,000 members of Iowa’s beef industry.

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