WASHINGTON, DC — Canada approved the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement on March 13.

The United States, Mexico and Canada concluded negotiations for a new trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in September 2018 and on Jan. 29, US President Donald Trump signed the new trade deal.

Mexico passed the agreement in June 2019. Canada is the last of the three countries to approve the deal.

Under the USMCA, all food and agriculture products that have had zero tariffs under the NAFTA will continue to enjoy zero tariff access to the partner nations’ markets.

“USMCA is a great victory for America’s agriculture industry, and I am pleased to see Canada’s Parliament approved the deal today,” said US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “USMCA locks in and expands access to our neighbors to the North and South. I thank President Trump for negotiating this deal and for always supporting America’s farmers and ranchers. We will continue to work with both Canada and Mexico in implementing this agreement.”

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has been constant in its support for USMCA from the beginning. 

Leah Wilkinson, vice president of public policy and education at AFIA, said, “The American Feed Industry Association thanks Canadian officials for maintaining the largest free trade area in the world by ratifying the trade agreement with US and Mexico, a move that not only maintains our close trading relationship with our northern neighbor but also allows businesses to continue innovating and developing solutions for the 21st century."

"Under the previous North American free trade agreement, we saw the animal food industry’s exports quadruple from roughly $669 million in 1995 to over $3.2 billion today. With Canada’s latest action, the trilateral agreement moves one step closer to implementation, and we are standing by ready to continue supplying products to the marketplace in a time where our country’s citizens need a stable food supply," Wilkinson added.

Pet Food Institute (PFI) also commented on Canada's ratification of USMCA.

"PFI is pleased that Canada moved so expeditiously last week to ratify USMCA, taking a significant step toward providing US food and agriculture producers, including pet food makers, with the certainty they need to grow their businesses in the hugely important North American market. Bilateral trade in pet food totaled almost a billion dollars last year (USDA FAS: ~$750 million in US exports to Canada and ~$250 million in Canadian exports to us), so it’s clear that NAFTA now, and USMCA going forward, are essential to the health and growth opportunities for US pet food exports," said Peter Tabor, vice president of regulatory and international affairs at PFI.

"The continued tariff-free trade USMCA guarantees, along with tools to avoid and/or address potential trade barriers, will allow US pet food makers to plan and execute supply chain and export strategies in a true North American market," Tabor addd.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Canada and Mexico are the United States’ first and second largest export markets for food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion in food and agricultural exports in 2018. These exports support more than 325,000 US jobs.

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