U.S. Senator Steve Daines voted for a critical trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, called the “USMCA,” out of the U.S. Senate. The trade agreement now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

“This trade deal is a big win for our farmers, ranchers, and small businesses across Montana and the country,” Daines said. “This deal provides certainty for Montana ag and protects critical access to our two biggest trading partners. I’m thankful for President Trump’s leadership getting this done, and look forward to it being signed into law.” 

USMCA passed by a vote of 89-10.

Daines serves as Montana’s lone voice on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over international trade, and has been a strong proponent of advancing this trade agreement.

Sen. Jon Tester

U.S. Senator Jon Tester welcomed the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the new North American free trade pact. It passed the Senate 89-10.

“Every Montanan working in production ag knows you need certainty and open markets to move your products,” said Sen. Tester, the Senate’s only working farmer. “The USMCA will help Montana producers regain the stability they’ve lost under this Administration and makes progress on critical issues like Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading practices. Enforcement is critical for this deal moving forward, but we can’t take our eye off the ball on expanding access to markets around the world so Montana producers have more avenues to turn a profit.”

The agreement was applauded by agriculture groups across the state.

“The Montana Grain Growers Association thanks Senator Tester for supporting Senate passage of the USMCA!” said MGGA President Vince Mattson. “This important trade agreement gives our farmers some stability with two of our largest trading partners in the world. It will serve as a pathway to better markets, improved prices and act as a stepping stone for many more trade agreements in the future.”

“The Montana Farm Bureau thanks Senator Tester for his support of the USMCA,” said Montana Farm Bureau President Hans McPherson. “This trade agreement is essential for Montana’s farmers and ranchers to have commerce with two of our largest trading partners. Montana Farm Bureau has been working hard to see this agreement pass, and we truly appreciate Senator Tester’s dedication to the USMCA and its benefit to Montana agriculture.”

“I appreciate Senator Tester fighting to bring an end to these unnecessary trade tensions by passing USMCA,” said Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer. ‘While I am disappointed this deal fails to address important issues like country of origin labeling (COOL), it represents progress in raising labor and environmental standards. Let’s get this done so we can move on to expanding markets for family farmers and ranchers.”

“We are pleased to see positive movement on the Senate side and support from Senator Tester on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),” said Montana Stockgrowers Association President Fred Wacker. “This agreement will preserve duty-free, unrestricted access for U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico, which will provide our Montana ranchers the certainty they need.”

Tester has been an outspoken critic of President Trump's trade war and has pushed to hold the Administration accountable by passing legislation to give Congress a role in imposing tariffs. He has heard about the impact of these tariffs firsthand, holding in-person listening sessions with Montana farmers, ranchers, and small business owners about the consequences of the trade war.

USMCA Details

  • Protect critical market access for Montana farmers, ranchers, and businesses
  • Help level the playing field for Montana’s grain growers in Canada
  • Modernize the agreement for digital trade

USMCA’s Impact

  • USMCA is expected to create over 180,000 new American jobs
  • USMCA is forecasted to boost our nation’s GDP by $70 Billion
  • In 2018 alone, Montana had $731 million dollars in total exports to Canada and Mexico

Background

  • Yesterday, Daines voted to advance the USMCA out of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • Last week, Daines voted to advance the USMCA out of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
  • In late October, Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to act and advance the USMCA.
  • On June 18, 2019 Daines raised the importance of advancing USMCA in a U.S. Senate Finance hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
  • On November 21, 2018, Daines sent a letter to President Trump showing support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and to urge passage of the trade deal.
  • On January 30, 2018, Daines sent a letter to President Trump, reaffirming the benefits on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and urging him to modernize it to reflect the 21st century economy.
  • On Nov. 20, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to consider the critical role agriculture plays in the U.S, economy and its dependence on trade.
  • On June 28, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Lighthizer, urging him to consider the impact of trade with Mexico and Canada on the U.S. agricultural industry while renegotiating NAFTA.
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