Tag Archives: Mexico

LINCOLN, Neb. – A delegation of 19 industry leaders from Mexico were in Nebraska this week to gain a better understanding of the U.S. ethanol sector. From Oct. 16-18, the delegation toured all facets of Nebraska’s ethanol industry, from cornfield to fuel retailer.

 

On the first day of their trip, the group was provided with an overview of Nebraska’s agricultural and ethanol industries before they traveled to Giltner and visited Hunnicutt Farms. At the farm, the team learned about corn, seed corn, popcorn and soybean production. Through the discussions, the delegation was introduced to cutting-edge technologies in American agriculture and were able to better understand how some farmers utilize irrigation equipment.

 

“By bringing this group onto our farm, we’re able to really lay the foundation and show how renewable ethanol is and how easy it is to incorporate into a nation’s fuel supply,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, vice-chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and co-owner of Hunnicutt Farms. “Also, by bringing trade teams to farms and to ethanol plants, we’re able to build relationships with our customers that hopefully develop into long-term partnerships. I like to think the U.S. is the best in the world when it comes to corn and ethanol production. We’re open for business and want to share our products with the world.”

 

During the remainder of the group’s visit to Nebraska, they toured Chief Ethanol, an ethanol processing plant in Hastings, Magellan Midstream Partners, a fuel pipeline, storage and transportation company in Doniphan, and Bosselman’s Travel Center, a fuel retailer in Grand Island. They departed the state Friday morning after meeting with Gov. Pete Ricketts, Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board.

 

“In times when there’s so much uncertainty in regards to trade, it’s great to have our top customers visit to remind them how much we value their business,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Mexico is our No. 1 customer when it comes to corn and distillers grains, and there is so much potential for increased ethanol exports. We are glad to have had time with this delegation to show appreciation for their past business, answer questions about our corn and ethanol industries and to let them know we’re working hard to ensure the passage of USMCA.”

 

The visit from the Mexican delegation was an offshoot of an even larger event held earlier in the week. The first-ever Global Ethanol Summit occurred Oct. 13-15 in Washington, D.C. Government officials and industry leaders from 60 countries attended this event to learn about the benefits of expanding global ethanol use. The event was organized and hosted by the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says work continues on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, while impeachment proceedings move forward in the House of Representatives.

Still, a fear persists outside of Washington, D.C., that USMCA may not reach the finish line because of the full schedule in Washington. Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Pelosi reaffirmed that House Democrats are working towards a solution, saying, “we hope to be on a path to yes.” Pelosi says Democrats are still waiting on assurances about enforceability.

Those in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, remain optimistic House Democrats can reach an agreement with the Trump administration to pass USMCA. The Trump administration threatened when the impeachment inquiry was announced that “House Democrats destroyed any chances of legislative progress,” including USMCA, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s President recently pledged to sign a letter to U.S. lawmakers urging passage of the agreement. Mexico ratified USMCA this summer, and Canada is expected to do so following its federal elections later this month.

House Democrats are wrapping up a two-day trip to Mexico to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, the visit comes as the Democratic Working Group on NAFTA 2.0 “continues to engage in productive discussions with the U.S. Trade Representative regarding important improvements to the agreement,” according to Neal.

Representative Neal also leads the working group on USMCA. The lawmakers are meeting with representatives from the Mexican Government as well as local workers, focusing on enforcement of the agreement regarding labor standards in Mexico.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week maintained “we are making progress” on reaching an agreement to pass the trade deal. The group forwarded a counter proposal to the White House just over a week ago.

Lawmakers Joining Neil on the trip include Representatives Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, Dan Kildee of Michigan, Jimmy Panetta of Jimmy Gomez of California. The group maintains a commitment to reaching an agreement with the White House to pass the trade agreement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues its pressure for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement. In a letter to all House of Representative members, the organization says the U.S. “cannot afford for enactment of USMCA to fall by the wayside.” The letter coins the term “No Rest Recess,” in calling on lawmakers to pass the agreement, following the current two-week recess.

The Chamber says USMCA is critical to the economic future of the United States because it will preserve and strengthen U.S. trade ties, ensuring farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses continue to have access to the Canadian and Mexican markets. The future of the agreement rests with House Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Wednesday, Pelosi said the House is “making progress” on the agreement. Pelosi says the USMCA working group submitted its counter-proposal to the White House last week, adding the “the quiet you hear is progress,” regarding negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Pelosi has maintained that the House impeachment inquiry will not stall progress on the agreement.

Much of Washington, D.C., is consumed with questions about Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly scolded Democrats’ handling of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. Politico says McConnell wants House Democrats to pass the North American trade agreement, noting that “the time for excuses is over.”

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said Democrats continued objections to the new pact are nothing more than “heel-dragging.” He says the delay is because of the House impeachment inquiry and related investigations. “Canada, Mexico, and millions of Americans are waiting for Speaker Pelosi to remember that serving the public interest requires more than just picking fights with the President,” McConnell says.

His comments come after House Democrats pledged last week that the newly-launched impeachment inquiry will not affect their ability to work with the administration to negotiate changes in four key areas of the agreement with our North American trade partners. Those areas include labor, the environment, access to medicines, and enforcement.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said Tuesday that the split Congress has the votes to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.

“It would give us a great step forward,” Donohue told CNBC, adding that Congress has “enough votes to do it right now.”

Donohue told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on July 25 that the USMCA would be “fixed by the September timeframe” and would have Democrats on board.

“There’s very good spirit between the people that are doing it because this is an unbelievable agreement,” Donohue said, adding that “it’s $4 billion a day of trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico – they are our largest trading partners.”

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse is also putting pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

A few weeks earlier, White House adviser Marc Short told FOX Business that he is optimistic the deal will come together.

“We think that it has the votes,” Short told Maria Bartiromo on July 11. “The reality is that there are 31 congressional Democrats residing in districts that Donald Trump won in 2016. But more importantly, those are districts that create an enormous number of manufacturing jobs in the auto industry or agriculture jobs because we’ve now provided … additional access to dairy farms in Wisconsin, in Minnesota.”

Both chambers of Congress will be back in session in September after the August recess.

Ironically, Mexico ratified the deal in June, while the U.S. Congress has not passed the agreement that President Trump has often touted.

“It means foreign investment in Mexico, it means jobs in Mexico, it means guaranteeing trade of the merchandise that we produce in the United States,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at the time of ratification.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Farm Bureau published a video of farmers touting the USMCA to the tune of the hit song “YMCA” on Aug. 30.

“Nancy, we know you’re the woman who can get this deal through Congress,” the farmers chant.