Congressman Valadao Releases Statement on Renegotiated Trade Agreement

Press Release

Date: Oct. 1, 2018
Location: Washington, DC

After more than a year of negotiations, on Sunday, September 30, 2018, the United States reached a consensus regarding the revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which governs more than $1.2 trillion worth of trade among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The new agreement, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will establish new rules for automobile production, expand market access for American farmers, and level the playing field between the three countries to ensure the needs of the 21st century economy are met.
Congressman David G. Valadao said, "Agriculture drives our American economy and is especially vital to life as we know it in the Central Valley. Despite its critical importance, for decades our trade policies have failed to meet the need of California farmers."
Especially pivotal to Central Valley agriculture is the elimination of Canada's "Class 7" program that allows low-priced dairy ingredients to undersell United States dairy products in Canada and in third country markets.
Congressman Valadao, who represents the nation's largest dairy district continued, "Ensuring our dairy farmers are paid fairly for their product and have access to foreign markets will create jobs, promote innovation, and expand opportunities for all Americans, especially those right here in the Central Valley."

While the agreement is not yet final, agriculture stakeholders across the nation are praising the work between the three nations.
"This important agreement, assuming it is properly implemented, should give U.S. dairy farmers additional marketing opportunities to provide high-quality, nutritious dairy products to Canada. We commend Congressman Valadao, who understands our issues as a dairy farmer firsthand, for his effective advocacy and support during the negotiating process." -- Mr. Jim Mulhern; President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation

"California agriculture is encouraged with the USMCA announcement. Canada and Mexico are important destinations for California grown products, and the agreement's framework offers certainty and opportunity for our farmers and ranchers. Thank you to the administration and our local Congressional delegation, including Congressman David Valadao, for looking out for American agriculture's interests in this deal." -- Mr. Ryan Jacobsen; CEO/Executive Director, Fresno County Farm Bureau

"As the largest exporting dairy cooperative in the U.S., California Dairies, Inc. is pleased to see the continuation of our strong trading relationship with Mexico under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Further, based on early reports, we are optimistic about the much-needed reforms secured in this process concerning Canada's dairy policies. We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Administration in prioritizing the needs of the U.S. dairy industry in these critical negotiations. We also thank Congressman Valadao and other Congressional leaders for highlighting the importance of free and fair access to dairy export markets. We look forward to working with our elected leaders in Congress in the coming months to see this process through to full implementation." - Mr. Andrei Mikhalevsky; President and CEO, California Dairies, Inc.

"We are pleased with the revisions to the US-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade, as one of the largest export partners across the globe, Tulare County agriculture needs certainty in these foreign markets. While there is still some impacts to address on tariffs, Tulare County will benefit overall from the agricultural chapters of the agreement being updated. Tulare County exports 47% of all our citrus, and 21% of our grapes, and up to 8% of our almonds and pistachios. We appreciate Congressman Valadao's work on this important trade relationship to benefit Central California farmers." - Ms. Tricia Stever Blattler; Executive Director, Tulare County Farm Bureau

"Harris Ranch is extremely pleased that a United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement has been finalized. Both Canada and Mexico are extremely important export markets for the U.S. beef industry. This new trade agreement maintains the zero tariff provisions of the previous NAFTA agreement. As such, will be beneficial to all U.S. beef producers. Congressman Valadao is to be applauded for his efforts to provide both free and fair trade to U.S. agricultural producers." - Mr. Jeff Johnson; Vice President of Export Sales, Harris Ranch Beef Co.

"Trade is critically important for farmers in California and across the nation, and we appreciate Congressman David Valadao for his strong voice in support of modernized trade agreements that work for agriculture. The agreement announced this week between the U.S., Canada and Mexico is promising for U.S. farmers who depend on export market access, and we're confident Congressman Valadao will continue to do all he can to move the agreement ahead, grow markets and create new economic opportunity for California farmers." - Mr. Joe Machado, Dairy Producer, Board of Directors, Land O'Lakes

"In combination with the earlier agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, the newly announced U.S.-Canada agreement strengthens relations with two key trading partners. The USMCA will provide California farmers and ranchers with much-needed certainty in key export markets, and we applaud the three governments for working to modernize the agricultural chapters in the agreement. It's a welcome development at a time when farmers have faced obstacles in selling their products to foreign customers." -- Mr. Jamie Johansson; President, California Farm Bureau Federation

"The outlines of the NAFTA pact remain intact, which will allow the U.S. agricultural sector to continue developing new international markets for our farmers. We also need to pursue new free trade agreements with other nations and resolve our trade conflicts with China. It is imperative that the United States remains an integral player in driving the global trade agenda." - Mr. Tom Vilsack; President and CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)

"This Agreement (USMCA) delivers on the efforts of the Administration and its negotiators to receive input and design a deal protecting agricultural interests. In modernizing the trade playing field, our permanent crop, fresh fruit commodity sector stands to benefit from measures carried forward into the new Agreement, as well as benefit from new advancements on minimizing trade distorting policies and the elevation of science-based decision making when addressing phytosanitary measures." -- Mr. George Radanovich; President, California Fresh Fruit Association

"American Pistachio Growers is a strong supporter of free trade and is encouraged by the recent progress that has been made with Canada and Mexico toward a new cooperative trade agreement." - Mr. Richard Matoian; Executive Director, American Pistachio Growers

"Maintaining dairy market access in Mexico and improving market access into Canada were IDFA's top priorities during the talks to modernize NAFTA. We're also pleased that the Administration was successful in getting Canada to eliminate Class 7 pricing. This new agreement will preserve our vital partnership with both countries and allow the U.S. dairy industry to seek more export opportunities." -- Mr. Michael Dykes, D.V.M.; President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

"This agreement provides security and support for the investment of our grower‐owners into this growth market, as well as ensuring the ongoing success we have enjoyed in Canada. Blue Diamond is hopeful this new agreement will now be approved by Congress in a timely fashion." - Mr. Mark Jansen, CEO, Blue Diamond Growers

"The National Cotton Council (NCC) is extremely appreciative of the Trump Administration's work to update and modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, and our industry welcomes the conclusion of the negotiations. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will ensure continued duty-free access for U.S. cotton to Mexico and Canada, with Mexico representing a top five export market for U.S. raw cotton. Both Canada and Mexico are top five export markets for cotton textile and apparel exports." -- Mr. Ron Craft, Chairman, National Cotton Council (NCC)
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District of California, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.