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Rounds, Thune applaud USMCA Deal, but not all groups happy

WASHINGTON DC — The U-S Senate today gave final passage to the United States Mexico Canada trade agreement, intended to replace the NAFTA agreement struck in the 1990’s.

The vote in the U-S Senate today was an overwhelming 89 to 10 vote. The bill now goes to President Trump for signature.

Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says the agreement will give certainty to businesses and maintain beneficial trade with Mexico and Canada.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds called Mexico and Canada the U-S’s most valued trading partners. Rounds says the deal shows President Trump’s committment to making better and more fair trade deals for producers and manufacturers.

Yesterday on the Senate floor, John Thune said he has worked for a long time to get the bill passed and says the bill will be a major benefit to the state’s ag producers.

But, not all ag groups are happy.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement today regarding the final Senate passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. Senate has ignored the interests of United States cattle farmers and ranchers by voting to extend the 25-year-old NAFTA agreement (North American Free Trade Agreement) under its new name, the USMCA.

“The USMCA makes no changes at all for the largest sector of American agriculture, the U.S. cattle industry. Importers of beef and cattle will continue to have 30% more inventories of cattle from which to source cheaper, undifferentiated cattle and beef and U.S. cattle producers are left without any ability to distinguish their superior product with a mandatory country-of-origin label. This means United States consumers will not be able to choose to support United States cattle farmers and ranchers.”

He says “we will now go to Congress to seek out members who share our concern that U.S. cattle producers have been rendered non-competitive under the USMCA because they have no means to distinguish their exclusively USA-produced beef from the cheaper, undifferentiated substitutes that will continue flooding our markets.”

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