The new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico going into effect July 1 is great news for Nebraska producers as it creates a new trade foundation for business being done between the three countries.

USMCA will provide opportunities for enhanced trade among Nebraska and its largest trading partners, Mexico and Canada. The two countries represent a market for more than 40% of the state’s exports.

In 2019 Nebraska exported $1.6 billion to Canada — 21% of the state’s total global exports. It exported $1.7 million to Mexico — 23% of the state’s global exports.

The largest portion of Nebraska’s exports to Canada was agricultural and construction machinery, something Grand Island has a major part in with the CNH plant here.

Oilseeds and grains, at $883 million, was Nebraska’s largest export to Mexico, with grain and oilseed milling products, at $364 million, second.

Meat products and meat packaging also are major portions of Nebraska’s exports to Mexico and Canada — $181 million to Canada and $202 million to Mexico

Nebraska’s grain and livestock producers clearly have benefited from our trade with Canada and Mexico in the past, but the hope is that with the USMCA in effect, those numbers will continue to increase.

Canada will provide new and expanded access for U.S. dairy product exports. The agreement also eliminates its tariffs on whey and margarine.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said as Nebraska pulls out of the COVID-19 economic doldrums, trade agreements such as the USMCA are important components in reviving the economy. It’s also important to our agricultural producers, who have been struggling due to low commodity prices and trade concerns connected to last year’s trade war between the U.S. and China.

As our entire country tries to rebound from the economic woes created by more than three months of quarantining, we need some good news and the USMCA is a major boost for agriculture, our state’s No. 1 industry.

Ricketts has gone on two trade missions to Mexico and one to Canada as governor.

“We have two great partners with Canada and Mexico, and the USMCA is a great way to take our relationship to the next level,” he said.

This is an accomplishment to celebrate and to fully take advantage of with increased exports of Nebraska products.

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