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Secretary Perdue anxious to see USMCA ratified

Calls for passage of USMCA increase as negotiations with Democrats and USTR continue.

Following a visit during a trade mission to Mexico, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he and his counterparts in Mexico are anxious to see the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ratified.

During a call with media on Thursday afternoon, Perdue said Mexico seems to be very pleased with USMCA, and recent negotiations U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer continues to conduct with Democrats do not look to derail support for the trade deal.

Perdue added that solutions to the issues Lighthizer has been negotiating with Democrats are “obtainable.”

He remains anxious to get the deal done sooner rather than later. The longer it goes on, the more politics will interfere with the agreement’s passage, Perdue said, adding that he doesn’t want to forfeit the deal on the “altar of politics.”

Earlier in the week, Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) gave a floor speech in support of USMCA and stated, “It is time to move forward and pass this important legislation now.”

Roberts added that “the call for Congress to get moving on this trade deal has united more people from different political and professional backgrounds than almost any other issue in recent memory.”

He said it has been nearly a year since President Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada signed USMCA on Nov. 30, 2019 -- but time is running out. “I hope that my friends in the House can quickly come to an agreement with the Administration so that we can all do what’s right by our constituents and get this passed this year,” Roberts said in his floor speech.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) launched a new campaign, "It's Pork O' Clock Somewhere," to highlight the importance and benefits of the trade agreement. The campaign focuses on pork and the many ways it's enjoyed across North America.

"Ratification of USMCA is the top priority for U.S. pork producers, and there is no better way to highlight its importance than a campaign that illustrates how pork is enjoyed across United States, Canada and Mexico," said NPPC president David Herring, a pork producer in Lillington, N.C. "A USMCA agreement provides much-needed market certainty for U.S. pork producers, ensuring zero-duty market access to two of our largest export markets."

Last year, more than 40% of U.S. pork exports went to Canada and Mexico. The NPPC campaign thanks lawmakers for making USMCA ratification a priority this year and highlights the history behind pork-related dishes in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

For example, tacos al pastor from Mexico have origins in the Lebanese method of cooking meat on a spit, referred to as shawarma. The tacos are a staple in Mexico City, Mexico, where taco shops and stands line the streets. Last year, the U.S. sent more than 770,000 tons of pork — worth $1.3 billion — to Mexico.

TAGS: Policy
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