On Dec. 10, President Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a compromise had been struck on the long-awaited U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, better known as USMCA. Across the board, farmers, ranchers and agriculture leaders reacted with excitement that maybe — just maybe — Congress would be able to ratify USMCA before Christmas break.
It was this news the agriculture community had waited months to hear as the House of Representatives were “working to get to a yes” on USMCA. A few hours later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his chamber wouldn’t be able to push USMCA across the finish line until 2020.
The growing divide in Congress is hard to watch. Our farmers and ranchers are relying on Congress to finish its due diligence on the upgraded trade agreement as quickly as possible. With much frustration, many of us in the Heartland are wondering how much longer it might be until the ink dries on this agreement.
American farmers and ranchers go to work each and every day with a list of chores. That list almost never stays the same as the day progresses, but their end goal remains the same. They want to raise the best food, fiber and fuel for their communities, states and the world, while leaving their farms stronger for the next generation. That’s their job.
Collectively, it’s the role of presidents, Congressional leaders and trade representatives to ensure that our American farmers are being treated fairly in the global marketplace. Completing their due diligence is an important part of that process. They help negotiate, craft and approve trade deals that create a level playing field for our farmers, workers and citizens. That’s their job.
Those of us in rural America are asking Congress to finish their job on USMCA as quickly as possible.