NFU board declines to take position on USMCA |

NFU board declines to take position on USMCA

The National Farmers Union Board this week declined to take a position on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade, saying that further improvements are needed before the Democratic-leaning farm group can support the measure.

“Though USMCA makes some progress towards rebuilding international markets, it requires further improvements before final ratification, per the second resolution,” NFU said in a news release.

“To provide needed protections to American family farmers and ranchers, the agreement should strengthen labor, environment, and enforcement provisions; rectify language related to prescription drugs; strengthen anti-dumping protections for agricultural goods; and re-establish Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) authority.

“USMCA must meet these standards — currently it falls short,” the resolution states. “Because negotiations are still in progress, NFU’s board is withholding conclusive judgement until the final agreement is released.”

The board met while 380 NFU members came to Washington this week for a lobby fly-in. The board also passed measures urging resolution of ongoing trade disputes, the enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the strengthening of the USMCA before final passage.

NFU President Roger Johnson has said he expects the board to support the USMCA.

NFU made the announcement just as other farm groups and key House leaders including House Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson, D-Minn., will hold a rally today urging Congress to approve the agreement.

The Trump administration has given House Democrats its proposals for addressing changes that Democrats are seeking to USMCA, Washington Trade Daily said it has learned from House aides.

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