Produce Coalition for NAFTA Applauds U.S./Mexico Agreement

On behalf of the Produce Coalition for NAFTA, we strongly commend the Trump Administration and the Trudeau Administration for reaching a significant agreement which will bring Canada into the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We sincerely appreciate the hard work of Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo in helping to ensure that this agreement was reached. This modernized trilateral trade agreement will enhance U.S. agricultural exports and build on the success of the NAFTA agreement that was put in place in 1994. We commend U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland for reaching an agreement which re-affirms and builds on the commitment to open trade in agricultural products, including fresh produce. The USMCA is a significant victory not only for agriculture but for the U.S. economy and U.S. consumers. We look forward to working with House and Senate Members to ensure ratification of this significant new trade agreement.

GOOD FOR THE
CONSUMER AND GROWERS

NAFTA eliminated tariffs and resulted in more year-round availability for the U.S. consumer.  Consumers are eating healthier options, with U.S. per capita consumption of fresh vegetables reaching 145.1 pounds per year, a 14% increase from the 126.8 pounds per year in 1993 before NAFTA was enacted.

While there have been considerable increases of produce imports since the inception of NAFTA, the domestic production value of fruits and vegetables within the United States has expanded as well.

FREE-TRADE BENEFITS

In order to meet the year-round market demand for nutritious fruits and vegetables, geographical growing regions need to change with the seasons.  Typically, this means during the winter, growing production begins in Mexico, and then moves to the United States and Canada with the approach of warm weather.  The total value of agricultural trade (exports and imports) among all three NAFTA countries reached about $82.0 billion in 2013, compared with $16.7 billion in 1993 (the year before NAFTA’s implementation).  Phenomenal agriculture growth coming out of Mexico since NAFTA can also be attributed to the millions of dollars invested in technology and growing innovations.