Farmers for Free Trade Motorcade Makes Pitstop in OKC to Promote the Passage of the USMCAThu, 23 May 2019 15:32:28 CDT
Farmers for Free Trade, the national coalition supported by America's leading farm commodity groups, brought together on Thursday Oklahoma farmers, local elected officials and local farm leaders to discuss the need for Congress to quickly pass a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Congress is expected soon to consider the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which will replace NAFTA and set new rules guaranteeing Oklahoma farmers access to Mexico and Canada. Farmers for Free Trade Executive Co-Director Angela Hofmann took a moment to speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn about the importance of freed trade to agriculture and how the USMCA can facilitate that between two of the United States’ most important export markets. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
“We’ve had a lot of uncertainty in the market with our negotiations with China, we’ve had a lot of discussions on steel and aluminum, we’re looking at the European Union and other markets that we want to get into… The USMCA Agreement is the one thing right in front of us right now that we see that could bring some real stability and economic relief to our farmers and ranchers,” Hofmann said. “And, it’s not just agriculture that is reliant on trade. It’s the other industries, too. It’s the pet food industry, the manufacturers, the logistics providers that move our product and we export a lot of food. So, those markets are really important.”
At the event, Oklahoma farmers described the difficulties they are facing in the current international trade environment and the need for an agriculture trade victory.
“They are all coming out and telling their story. We’ve said over and over again, this is not a spectator sport,” she said. “They want to be heard. They want their neighbors to know why it’s important, too. So, this is really a time not just to think about it but to put your boots on and tell people why it’s so important.”
The event is part of an RV tour Farmers for Free Trade is undertaking across the country in support of USMCA. The #MotorcadeforTrade is making stops across the country at family farms, coffee shops, ag equipment dealers, small businesses, and more to highlight American farmers' reliance on trade with Canada and Mexico. Oklahoma City marked the beginning of the Southern leg of the tour, Hofmann said. Next, motorcade will travel to Texas, then New Mexico and Arizona and into California.
“Then, throughout the June recess we will we’re going to work our way across up the West Coast and work our way through the middle states and hopefully by then,” Hofmann remarked, “we’re going to see this agreement get done.”
The most important thing right now though, Hofmann reiterated, is for stakeholders to show their support, share their story and pressure their Congressional leaders to pass the USMCA.
“There are some very easy ways to do that,” Hofmann interjected. “In fact, you can even text 52886 (USMCA) and that will send a message directly to your members of Congress. So, quick action, be heard, be active, make that happen right now.”
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