Updated USMCA shows positive changes, MFU says
Dec. 11, 2019
Yesterday, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress and the Trump administration had reached an agreement to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement contained several changes from the original agreement President Trump proposed in September 2018 as a replacement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Grassroots farm organization Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is pleased to hear of some of the changes that have been made public so far. Particularly, the 10-year protection period for biologic drugs was eliminated. Had this provision been kept in the agreement, it would have made prescription drugs more expensive and increased the cost of health care. It also addressed some labor and environment concerns.
“As the full text of USMCA has not been released, MFU has not come to conclusive judgment on the agreement,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “However, we’re glad to hear a deal has been reached and that it appears to have addressed some significant issues our organization had with the original agreement proposed by the Trump administration.
“Family farmers need certainty during these hard economic times. While the deal isn’t likely to drastically change the outlook for them on prices for their products, it is a positive step forward. MFU thanks Speaker Pelosi and members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation who stood firm on strengthening labor and environmental protections and eliminating the biologic drugs provision. It was worthwhile to Minnesota’s family farmers that they took the time to get a better deal.”
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org)