NFU board to vote on USMCA during fly-in |

NFU board to vote on USMCA during fly-in

The National Farmers Union board is likely to take a position on the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement on trade during an NFU fly-in to Washington next week.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said in August that he would be “surprised” if the board does not support USMCA, but in an email to The Hagstrom Report Tuesday, Johnson said, “I expect robust discussion” on the subject.

NFU’s position is expected to be influential with some members of Congress because it is the most Democratic-leaning farm group. NFU did not support the North American Free Trade Agreement that USMCA would replace. NFU has previously said it is concerned about USMCA’s enforcement and pharmaceutical provisions.

NFU is expecting about 380 farmers to travel to Washington for its fly-in.

“After yet another year of depressed commodity prices, uncertainty in export and biofuels markets, rapid consolidation in the food and agriculture sectors, and extreme and unseasonal weather events … advocates from across the country will campaign for policies that strengthen the farm safety net, reduce chronic overproduction, help farmers and ranchers implement climate smart practices, restore competition to the agricultural economy, resolve ongoing trade disputes, and expand the market for homegrown biofuels,” NFU said in a news release.

NFU will kick off the fly-in on Monday with an Agriculture Department briefing with Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Gregory Ibach, Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs Ted McKinney and top officials from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Farm Service Agency (FSA).

On Tuesday and Wednesday, fly-in participants will visit all 535 congressional offices to meet with members of Congress and congressional staff to deliver their personal stories as to how federal-level policies impact their families and communities, NFU said.

NFU also released a memo on talking points that the farmers will raise.

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