North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer have both cast votes to approve sending the USMCA to a floor vote, expected Thursday, Jan. 16.
Cramer sits on two of the seven Senate Committees that were to review the trade deal, the Budget Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, while Hoeven is chairman of the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee.
Meanwhile Sen. Daines, R-Montana, last week cast a vote to move USMCA to the floor from the Finance Committee.
Other committees reviewing this NAFTA 2.0 deal included Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Commerce; and Foreign Relations.
Here are a few things to know about the USMCA deal before it lands on President Donald Trump’s desk:
1 Key provisions for agriculture include termination of Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading system, which was putting all U.S. wheat into the feed category. Poultry producers got expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey and eggs. Dairy farmers got expanded access as well, and Canada has agreed to eliminate Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs which was undercutting American producers. In exchange, Canada gets new access for some dairy, peanut, and a limited amount of sugar or sugar-containing products.
2 All food and agricultural products that had zero tariffs under NAFTA will continue to have zero tariffs under USMCA.
3 Economically speaking, the deal will raise economic output by nearly $70 billion (.35 percent) and create 176,000 new jobs by its sixth year, according to official government estimates.
4 Canada and Mexico are America’s two largest trading partners, totaling more than $39.7 billion in food and agricultural exports in 2018. Included in that figure are soybeans. Mexico is the No. 2 market for whole beans and Canada the No. 4 market for meal and the No. 7 market for beans.
5 USMCA also requires 75 percent of auto content to be produced in North America for tariff exemption, up from 62.5 percent. It also modernizes intellectual property, digital trade and financial services; and includes additional labor rules — demanded by Democrats —that weren’t in NAFTA. Language protecting expensive biological drugs from generics for 10 years was also removed, which also wasn’t in NAFTA.