Pet Food Institute joined a letter May 6 urging US legislative leaders to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade agreement seen as the modern-day North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The letter was signed by 67 organizations from the agriculture industry, including the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Mars, Incorporated, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill, Elanco Animal Health and the American Bakers Association (ABA), to name just a few.

It was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

These organizations are calling on the legislative branch of the US government to sign the USMCA into law to support fair trade between the US, Mexico and Canada and to expand exports.

The letter points out that since NAFTA's implementation in 1993, animal food exports to Canada and Mexico have more than tripled, growing from roughly $669 million to over $3.2 billion to date, according to AFIA. Overall, agricultural imports have quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017, the letter states.

The letter also argues the USMCA would “raise the US GDP by $68.2 billion,” citing a report by the International Trade Commission, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and Specific Industry Sectors.

“In order to build upon that success, Congress must pass USMCA. On behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses, we respectfully ask you to vote to ratify the USMCA,” the letter concluded.

In January 2019, Pet Food Institute sent another letter to the Department of Commerce and Office of US Trade advocating for the trade agreement, which bore signatures from 46 industry organizations.

The trade agreement was initially signed by leaders of all three countries on Nov. 30, 2018, but has yet to be ratified by the US legislative branch.

Read more about the ongoing tensions surrounding the USMCA.