For farmers, planting season is usually over by now. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case this year. Persistent rain and flooding have kept many of us out of the field. As a result, a lot of acres still haven’t been planted.
The weather has been bad and bad trade deals have made things even more difficult for farmers. We all know the United States has gotten the short end of the stick for years. Deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have locked farmers out of some markets and shipped American jobs out of the country.
President Trump promised to renegotiate these bad trade deals and has followed through. As a result, he’s gotten a much better deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.
For farmers, the USMCA is a big win. It will lift longstanding restrictions on selling milk products to Canada—great news for dairy farmers. Canada has also agreed to lift unfair restrictions on wheat and wine. What’s more, this deal will narrow the trade deficit and increase the number of products made in America. Most importantly, the USMCA will raise American wages and create new jobs.
Meanwhile, the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs are gone. Canada and Mexico have lifted their retaliatory tariffs targeting farmers. Last week’s agreement with Mexico to stem the tide of illegal immigration further paves the way for the USMCA while further securing our country. Canada and Mexico are both expected to act on the deal soon and President Trump has announced that he is sending it to Congress for approval. The time to act is now, but Congress hasn’t taken it up.
Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi is standing in the way. We know it’s a good deal and so does she. However, she thinks passage of the USMCA would be a “win” for the President. The reality is that this isn’t just a win for President Trump, this is a win for America, a win for American workers, and a desperately needed win for American farmers. We shouldn’t let petty politics get in the way of a good trade deal. Congress should take up and pass the USMCA immediately, putting America first and setting our country on a solid footing for the future.
Sam Graves is the Mo. Sixth District U.S. Representative.