Hicks: The USMCA is a huge win for Maine farmers

President Trump gives two thumbs up before going up on stage at an event.

Last month, President Trump’s replacement for the failed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), went into effect.

For decades, our country was ravaged by NAFTA, a terrible trade deal supported by Joe Biden. In just seven years, NAFTA killed more than 760,000 jobs across the country, mostly to the benefit of big businesses in Canada and Mexico.

This just further cements how out of touch the Obama-Biden administration was with Maine’s needs.

In Maine, NAFTA alone killed nearly 26,000 trade-related jobs.

Not only did Biden support NAFTA, the Obama-Biden Administration led the slowest economic recovery our country has ever seen.

We want this guy running the country? Give me a break, he can’t even find his way out of his own basement.

Biden’s lack of leadership is easily contrasted with what President Trump has delivered to our country in less than four years. The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is the modernized trade deal that our nation has been desperately needing for years, and President Trump delivered.

Across the nation, Maine is recognized for its agriculture. From the potato fields in The County, to the blueberry farms in Franklin County, and the cranberry bogs Downeast, farming is a crucial part of the state’s heritage.

Local Maine farmers know that the USMCA is a huge boon for the agricultural industry, with the Maine Potato Board, Maine Wild Blueberry Commission, and the Maine Dairy Industry Association all supporting the crucial new trade program.

Nationally, thanks to President Trump’s USMCA, we can expect our agricultural and food exports to increase by $2.2 billion.

In key industries across the country, the USMCA is a clear win for the agricultural community. 

Nationally we can expect to add more than $220 million in dairy products, and more than $183 million in poultry exports to Canada alone.

The USMCA even includes key provisions to specifically ensure that American workers in the beef and dairy community benefit from this new trade deal.

It’s no wonder that the American Farm Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council all support this commonsense trade agreement.

Thanks to President Trump’s  USMCA, Maine farmers are finally equipped to recover from NAFTA and get a trade deal that puts their interests first.

Canada and Mexico are some Maine’s most crucial trade partners. In 2019, more than half of all of Maine’s exports went to the two countries. Maine exported $1.3 billion to Canada alone.

Because of the USMCA, important agricultural relationships that Mainers have built with Canada and Mexico will be maintained, with residents benefiting from continued access to critical markets, and nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in agriculture exports from Maine will be protected and expanded upon.

The USMCA isn’t just a clear win for farmers, it’s a clear win for all manufacturers across the country. In fact, the bipartisan U.S. International Trade Association said that the USMCA has the potential to create nearly 600,000 new American jobs, while generating up to $235 in economic activity.

Democrats complained about NAFTA for years without passing a replacement, to the detriment of farmers and manufacturers across the country. President Trump got a deal done.

Tommy Hicks is the co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

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