Kansas to benefit from USMCA trade deal beginning, agriculture secretary says

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – After years of discussion, a new trade deal between three North American countries took effect Wednesday.

The USMCA, or the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is replacing NAFTA, a trade deal that was put in place in 1994.

The plan addresses a variety of areas, including the auto industry, labor laws and agriculture.

Mexico and Canada are two of the top three trade partners for Kansas agricultural products. Japan is number two.

“It’s just really important to have a strong trading relationship with these border countries,” Kansas Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam said.

He said Kansas farmers should feel a sense of security that the countries agreed to a deal.

“A lot more certainty long term that at least we have those relationships and those trade agreements,” Beam said.

He said the deal’s effects can increase demand for products which could raise profits for farmers, especially in dairy and poultry fields.

“Provides more access to these countries, particularly with Canada, on some of our agricultural products, so the timing couldn’t be better to get this in place, and these two countries for a long time have been our key important trading partners,” Beam said.

He also said in the 25 years since the last trade deal was signed, agriculture exports to Mexico and Canada have skyrocketed. So he’s hoping for increased growth as a result of this deal too.

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