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USMCA is a great deal for NM farmers

Workers pick green chile in a field in Hatch. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

New Mexico’s diverse terrain spans deserts, mountains and forests, making it home to one of the nation’s most varied agriculture industries. For thousands of years, the state’s fertile soil has been used for agriculture.

Today, of New Mexico’s 24,600 farms, 97% of them are family-owned operations that harness the land to produce millions of dollars’ worth of food each year. When President Trump took office, he promised America’s farmers and ranchers that he would fight for better trade deals around the globe. He has done just that with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. USMCA is a big win for American agriculture.

Sonny Perdue

USMCA will better serve the interests of American farmers and ranchers, leading to freer markets and trade between our three countries. New Mexico exports $1.7 billion worth of products across all sectors of the economy to our northern and southern neighbors. And while our trade relationship with our neighbors remains an excellent one, the newly negotiated USMCA will make our trade relationship even better, specifically as it pertains to agriculture.

New Mexico is home to some of the nation’s largest dairy herds and, thanks to the excellent climate conditions, its cows are among the highest in the nation in milk productivity. USMCA cracks into Canada’s unfair and defensive milk supply management program, finally increasing New Mexico’s dairy farmers’ access to the market. New Mexico’s dairy producers will have significantly better access than past deals, so our farmers can sell more of their billion dollars’ worth of milk to Canadian consumers.

Most importantly, the new agreement maintains tariff-free access for almost all of New Mexico’s ag products that flow across our southern border or go north to Canada. Products like New Mexican beef, cotton, sorghum and iconic chili peppers will continue to have long-standing market access.

President Trump delivered on his promise with USMCA and made significant improvements over NAFTA. He continues to work to open markets around the world. American producers are the most productive in the world, and this agreement will allow the bounty of the American harvest to be sold freely and fairly. Now, it’s up to Congress to ratify this deal as soon as possible.

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