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Agreement with Mexico next step in securing status of ND agriculture

The U.S. pact with Mexico enhancing border security may have its own benefits in terms of stemming the tide of illegal immigrants, human trafficking and drugs being moved into the country – but it also is, or should be, a precursor to the USMCA, the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which many saw as a scheme that benefited other nations moreso than the U.S.

Trump has been labeled the “tariff president” because of his willingness to use the trade barriers to bargain for better trade deals and to end the benefits that seemed to be intrinsic to pre-existing ones for other nations.

The USMCA still needs to be ratified, with Congress being the primary obstacle. The chances of the president pushing to wrap the agreement seem better now that this border security deal with Mexico has been agreed to.

That’s a good thing.

Hopefully the USMCA will now become a front-burner issue.

The proposed new trade agreement would benefit all of North American agriculture and obviously as one of our two primary economic sectors has the potential to be a particular boon to North Dakota. While the state overall remains strongly supportive of President Trump – including many in agriculture – tariffs still can be detrimental to producers. A new agreement eliminating tariffs and crafting a more fair trade policy would clearly be an advantage.

Minot Daily News supports the USMCA and believes it is in the best interest of North Dakota agriculture. An agreement related to border security with Mexico, one of the president’s highest profile issues, should ease tensions and help lead to an amicable new trade agreement. Hopefully with a push from the White House, it will become reality.

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