Tag Archives: USMCA

“Time is running out, and we don’t want to let our farmers and ranchers face 2020 with the uncertainty and confusion they now feel. These Nebraskans want to do business. They want to trade. We want to win… The clown show in the House of Representatives shouldn’t bring everything to a grinding halt. It shouldn’t stop us from doing right by our farmers and ranchers.”


Video of the Senator’s speech is found here or by clicking on the image above. 

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse took to the Senate floor to call out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for stonewalling the United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA.)

“Time is running out, and we don’t want to let our farmers and ranchers face 2020 with the uncertainty and confusion they now feel. These Nebraskans want to do business. They want to trade. We want to win… The clown show in the House of Representatives shouldn’t bring everything to a grinding halt. It shouldn’t stop us from doing right by our farmers and ranchers.”

Sasse’s full remarks are found here and below.

Mr. President, farmers and ranchers are in a tough spot. There are a lot of families on the edge of bankruptcy in my state and in ag country more broadly. And as we get closer to Christmas and New Years without a trade deal with Canada and Mexico the situation is getting bleaker. Let’s be blunt about this: By needlessly stonewalling the USMCA trade agreement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are taking Nebraska agriculture hostage. This is petty, stupid politics at its worst.

The USMCA trade deal is a free trade win for our farmers and ranchers and they desperately need this win right now.

With hard work and grit, Nebraskans have cultivated one of the most powerful agricultural economies in the history of the world. We literally feed the world and we do it with free trade because we grow so much more food than we could ever consume. We need export markets and lots of people around the world want to be consuming our ag products.

It’s pretty simple: Trade with Canada and Mexico is a win-win-win.

In 2018, Mexico and Canada bought more than $40-billion of American agricultural products. The U.S. International Trade Commission expects USMCA to increase that trade by more than $33-billion.

The USMCA trade deal is designed to reinforce those partnerships in ways that make sense for an economy that’s changed a lot since NAFTA was passed in the 1990s. In the 1990s Seinfeld was still on TV, we still watched movies on VHS tape, and we still took our pictures with these things that the pages probably don’t know, which were cameras that had film. I’ll be honest, at my house we still watch Seinfeld but we’ve happily moved on from VHS tapes. My teenage daughters set us up on Hulu streaming but I can’t make the remote work.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen a massive digital revolutionary change in nearly every sector of our economy. Farmers are using new tech to increase our productivity and get more out of the most fertile land on God’s green earth than people ever assumed possible. The USMCA trade deal makes the kind of basic improvements in our trading relationships with our neighbors that we need in a rapidly changing, evolving, and developing economy.  For example, it scraps the old rules about importing cars that still have cassette tape players. Chuck Grassley apparently still has a car that has a cassette tape player, but he’s proud of it so we won’t make fun of him here.

Passing the USMCA would secure long-term stability in our trade agreements with our partners across North America, and it would also send a signal to other potential partners around the world that the United States is open for business. We need to bring Japan, the European Union, and others to the negotiating table, and passing the USMCA would strengthen our position significantly in setting up those trade agreements.

But time is running out.

If we don’t pass USMCA this year, we’re going to send a very different signal to our potential partners. If Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats can’t get their act together on USMCA, they’ll be telling the whole world that we may or may not be open for business. It all depends on short-term political posturing. That’s the message they are sending now, and that’s a message that might be cemented if this calendar year ends without passing USMCA. Try running a convenience store like that and you’d be out of business in a month.

A lot of folks in San Francisco and New York City might not think much about beans and about corn prices, but a every farmer and rancher in Nebraska is beyond baffled that this no-brainer trade deal hasn’t passed yet. It’s simply in the best, long-term interests of everyone involved in the conversation. This is not something that should be slipping beyond this next year. This is something that should pass now. We should call the vote on Christmas morning if that’s what it takes. The Congress should not be leaving D.C. without passing the USMCA.

Time is running out, and we don’t want to let our farmers and ranchers face 2020 with the uncertainty and the confusion they now feel. These Nebraskans want to do business. They want to trade. We want to win.

Congress is the place where Americans deliberate about the long-term challenges that we need to face for the future of our country. But Instead of deliberation, right now what they see when they turn on their TV’s or pick up their newspapers, is just vicious partisanship and short-term posturing.

The American people deserve better than this.

The clown show in the House of Representatives shouldn’t bring everything to a grinding halt. It shouldn’t stop us from doing right by our farmers and ranchers.

The USMCA trade agreement would pass by large majorities if introduced on the House floor, and I speculate that it would get between 85 and 90 votes on this floor. Obviously, we can’t take it up until the House votes, and the House would pass it with a big majority. That means only Nancy Pelosi stands in the way of USMCA certainty for the world’s greatest producers.  Everyone knows this, and Speaker Pelosi should be scheduling the vote.

We have only got 28 days left in 2019. But that is plenty of time to vote on USMCA. That’s plenty of time to get a win for our farmers and ranchers.

Speaker Pelosi, please schedule the vote.

A final agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is within days, according to some in Washington. A Mexican trade official last week told reporters Mexico was expected to approve changes to the agreement this week, which could then set up a vote in Congress.

The official said, “maybe days, so maybe sometime next week,” regarding timing, according to Politico. The comments followed a meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. A vote doesn’t mean the deal can be completed still in 2019, but would mark significant progress to finalizing the trade pact within the next few months.

USMCA is one of many legislative items on the agenda this month, as Congress must also yet again work towards funding the federal government. Lawmakers may also consider two farm labor bills, and provisions regarding biodiesel tax credits, as part of a broader energy bill. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives continues its impeachment investigation this week in the House Judiciary Committee.

Farmers for Free Trade, a bipartisan coalition supported by America’s top ag and business groups, announced a new ad campaign promoting quick passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The ad campaign launched with a $300,000 advertising blitz in more than 20 Congressional Districts. The ads focus specifically on why the USMCA is a badly needed victory for American agriculture. The 30-second radio spots feature American farmers who personally advocate for passing the agreement. The campaign also includes digital ads as well.

The initial ad campaign will focus specifically on the home districts of many Democratic members of the House of Representatives. Those Democrats represent districts that have a high concentration of farmers and ranchers that would benefit from the USMCA. Farmers for Free Trade says those legislators are a very important part of making the case for the agreement and getting it to the finish line. Former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln is a spokesperson for Farmers for Free Trade. She says, “With so many new Democratic members of Congress from districts with agricultural roots, they’ll have to be the ones to make the case that the agreement is vital for their farmers.”

Farmers for Free Trade Co-Executive Director Angela Hoffmann says farmers are growing more and more frustrated by the delay in approving USMCA.

Both the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and a phase one agreement of a deal between the U.S. and China appear to be slowly edging forward.

The Hagstrom Report quotes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as saying, “We are within range of a substantially improved agreement for America’s workers. Now, we need to see our progress in writing from the trade representative for a final review.” The Trump Administration says that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will provide a written agreement to Congress this week.

Trump is continuing to push House Democrats to bring the agreement up for a vote. “House Democrats have insisted that hard-working Americans need more from the USMCA than just the same broken NAFTA with better language but no real enforcement,” Pelosi says. “It still left American workers exposed to losing their jobs to Mexico.”

Meanwhile, President Trump says the phase one deal with China is “close.” At the same time, he also says the U.S. is monitoring the situation in Hong Kong. “We’re in the final throes of a very important deal,” Trump says. “It’s going very well, but at the same time we want to see things go well in Hong Kong.” Trump’s comments last week came just hours after a phone call between the Chinese Vice-Premier, USTR Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Fewer and fewer days remain for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2019. Washington is sending mixed signals on whether the deal can be completed this year.

Some lawmakers have suggested the House stay in session an extra week, adding time to the calendar to wrap up business before Christmas. Meanwhile, last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a labor deal in USMCA was “imminent.” However, President Donald Trump claimed this week Pelosi was holding up the trade deal to gather more votes in favor of impeaching Trump.

Representative Richard Neal, who chairs the Democrats USMCA working group, last week suggested union support was within reach, adding “we need it.” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka met with Pelosi and other Democrats Tuesday, while also vowing during an unrelated speech to not allow Democrats to fold on core issues.

Trumka stated that until USMCA includes stronger labor standards, “there is still more work to be done,” according to Reuters. Democrats leaving the meeting were skeptical that an agreement could be reached this year.

 How did the corn and soybean markets do for the week?  Does the market care if a Trade deal is done with China?

a.       Yes Initially.

b.       Depends on the deal after the initial move.

Do you think a trade deal with China will get done in the next month?  Did your opinion on the market change after the crop? What will the market be watching going forward?

a.       South American Weather

b.       Demand

c.       Chinese Trade Talks

d.       US Production

8.       How does corn demand look?

a.       Ethanol

b.       Exports

How does soybean Demand look? Where do you think the market goes from here?

Turn Around Tuesday-sort of. Market deals with outside market pressure from lack of talks from China. Pushes coming to D.C. to move forward with USMCA. Harvest delays, planting progress in South America. Cattle market could continue to move higher in the weeks ahead. Worries of heavier cattle coming to market. Hogs have seen some struggles.


WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 7, 2019 – Today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) launched a dynamic new campaign, “It’s Pork O’ Clock Somewhere,” to highlight the importance and benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. The campaign focuses on pork and the many ways it’s enjoyed across North America.

AUDIO NPPC’s Rachel Gantz


“Ratification of USMCA is the top priority for U.S. pork producers and there is no better way to highlight its importance than a campaign that illustrates how pork is enjoyed across United States, Canada and Mexico,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a pork producer in Lillington, N.C. “A USMCA agreement provides much-needed market certainty for U.S. pork producers, ensuring zero-duty market access to two of our largest export markets.”

Last year, more than 40 percent of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. The campaign thanks lawmakers for making USMCA ratification this year a priority and highlights the history behind pork-related dishes in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

For example, tacos al pastor from Mexico have origins in the Lebanese method of cooking meat on a spit, referred to as shawarma. The tacos are a staple in Mexico City, where taco shops and stands line the streets. Last year, the United States sent more than 770,000 tons—worth $1.3 billion—of pork to Mexico.

To learn more about NPPC’s campaign, visit www.porkoclock.org.

Vice President Mike Pence again called on the House of Representatives to bring the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to a vote. Speaking at an event in Virginia over the weekend, Pence says Democrats in the House “are spending all their time on endless investigations and a partisan impeachment.”

Pence told the event, “The time has come for your congressmen and every Democrat from Virginia to put politics aside and pass USMCA.” House Democrats maintain the impeachment process will not impede progress on the trade agreement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week hinted she was optimistic they could reach a deal with the White House.

Few days remain on the legislative calendar to pass the agreement this year, and the House is on recess this week. Pelosi told reporters last week, “hopefully we can do it sooner,” but she wouldn’t rule out the process stretching into next year. The U.S., Canada and Mexico agreed to the accord now more than a year ago, and Mexico ratified the agreement this summer.

America’s farmers and ranchers are in a bind, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has lot of nerve asking Nebraskans to write her checks while she’s holding agriculture hostage.

This weekend, Pelosi, the nation’s most powerful Democrat and the only person standing between Nebraskans and the certainty that comes with trade, headlined a political fundraiser in Omaha while stonewalling the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Congress. Nebraska farmers and ranchers are ready to feed the world, but thanks to naked partisanship in Washington, we’re losing trade markets.

The USMCA deal, struck late last year, would help Nebraska agriculture. This is a free-trade win for farmers and ranchers that would provide secure market access, favorable trading terms and long-term stability. It would reinvigorate trade relationships with our friends while protecting against foul play by our adversaries, such as China. The only hang-up is that Pelosi needs to bring the trade deal to the House floor for a vote.

Time is running out. If Pelosi doesn’t cut the politics and schedule a vote before the end of the year, farmers and ranchers will face 2020 with more confusion and uncertainty. This strain is bad news for Nebraska and two of our most important trading partners.

Nebraska wins with trade to Canada and Mexico. The USMCA would help to keep America’s agricultural sector strong by bolstering these partnerships in ways that make sense for an economy that has changed since the early 1990s. Mexico and Canada are the top markets for American agricultural exports — more than $40 billion in 2018, up from $8 billion in 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect. Nebraska producers benefited enormously from that long-standing agreement. Now, the USMCA is expected to increase total U.S. trade to Mexico and Canada by more than $33 billion, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. The USMCA also wisely follows NAFTA in making sure that agricultural duties remain low or, in most cases, nonexistent.

Pelosi isn’t doing her job. Congress is supposed to be the place where the American people deliberate about the big, long-term problems facing the country. Sadly, these days, angry partisans rage at the cameras on the empty floors of the House or in hallways crowded with Twitter-obsessed reporters. Pelosi would rather spend her time waging political war than getting this deal passed for farmers and ranchers. The Democrats’ clown show in the House shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for agriculture.

The USMCA is a good deal for American agriculture. It’s also a good steppingstone for future trade agreements. This deal shows we can protect our hardworking agricultural sector and will encourage the prosperity of our neighbors. That will bring more partners like Japan, the European Union and others to join us at the negotiating table. More mutually beneficial trading agreements with partners abroad will not only serve our economic interests, but will strengthen our position against countries such as China, whose exploitative trade practices are part of a larger campaign to undermine American influence worldwide.

Pelosi’s delay tactics threaten these gains. Farmers and ranchers need long-term certainty about who they will be able to sell to and under what terms. Right now, they don’t have it. Subsidies and bailouts cannot compensate for uncertain or permanently diminished market access. Likewise, the U.S. is sure to alienate potential trading partners if it looks like any country that involves itself with America is liable to end up hostage to short-term political maneuvering.

This should be above politics. Keeping our agricultural sector strong and secure should be a bipartisan concern. Our farmers and ranchers deserve better than to be pawns in Washington’s political games. Speaker Pelosi, cut the bull, bring USMCA up for a vote and let Nebraska agriculture grow again.