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USMCA one step closer to realization

Article cover photo
Iowa Soybean Association President Tim Bardole says the implementation of USMCA will support additional soybean sales to Mexico and Canada. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Bethany Baratta, ISA senior writer

More than one year after leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico agreed to a trade pact between the three countries, House Democrats earlier this week announced they would support the deal.

Upon announcement of support of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), leaders of the three countries met in Mexico to sign the agreement.

“Passage and ratification of USMCA will maintain the zero-tariff platform on soybean products and signal to U.S. farmers that Mexico and Canada are open for business,” said Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President Tim Bardole of Rippey.

The agreement makes significant updates to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was enacted in 1994. Since then, soybean exports have quadrupled to Mexico and doubled to Canada.

“Despite tremendous trade uncertainty surrounding a deal with China, this administration has secured agriculture’s trade relationship with two key export markets for years to come,” Bardole said.

U.S. soy exports to Canada and Mexico reached nearly $3 billion in 2017. Mexico is the second-largest export market for U.S. soybeans and soy meal.

Iowa Gov. Reynolds said the agreement it a “positive step forward for Iowa’s entire economy.”

“USMCA is a strong, balanced, and modern trade agreement that will create opportunities for Iowa families, farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses by expanding markets for our world-class exports,” she said in a statement.

Canada and Mexico purchase more than $10.3 billion in agriculture exports each year from the state of Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship.

USMCA now heads to the Senate for ratification before heading to President Trump’s desk for a signature.

Contact Bethany Baratta at

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.

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