California Citrus Mutual is part of a broad coalition that is urging Congress to pass the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA is widely seen as an improvement over NAFTA and its ratification by Congress will help create California jobs and spur economic growth while also strengthening protections for workers and the environment. According to Trade Partnership, USTR, and Brookings Data, $3.1 billion in agricultural products from California were exported to Canada and Mexico in 2017. Agriculture was the third highest value category of all exported goods to these countries behind electronics and transportation equipment.
Yes, the USMCA has flaws. However, we cannot let the perfect become the enemy of the good, particularly with the high economic stakes for California and our agricultural sector. The President has indicated that the U.S. will pull out of NAFTA should USMCA fail – an eventuality that would have devastating effects for California agriculture and the entire state economy. A NAFTA withdrawal would also disrupt supply chains that have taken decades to establish and help businesses keep the costs of our goods competitive with other international markets. Trade wars with our closest trading partners would also be likely.
Nevertheless, partisan politics are standing in the way of the passage of USMCA.
CCM President Casey Creamer joined other agricultural representatives in Washington, D.C. at the United Fresh Public Policy Conference in September. USCMA was at the top of the list of issued discussed with members of Congress.
CCM also signed on to a letter to the California Congressional delegation pushing for immediate passage of the agreement. Other signers included agricultural associations and representatives of the restaurant industry. Broadening the coalition to groups outside of agriculture highlights the significance of USCMA to all California businesses.