Oct 8, 2019NPC: Time running out for USMCA passage, Perdue visits Michigan potato industry
National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles recently expressed concern regarding the still-unpassed U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which was negotiated to replace NAFTA.
Passing it will be a strong sign that Congress and the White House can accomplish major priorities together, but it is believed that the votes to do so will be difficult to gather once the 2020 election cycle begins.
“Implementing USMCA tells everyone that the U.S. is capable of following through on trade negotiations and calms some of the tensions surrounding these global disputes,” said Quarles state in a statement. “But there aren’t a lot of days left to get it done.”
On Oct. 2, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that Democrats are “making progress” on the USMCA but they “want to be sure that as we go forward, we are strengthening America’s working families and our farmers who are very affected by this.” Pelosi went on to say that, “We’re on a path to yes,” but she cautioned that “we can’t be there yet” on enforceability.
On Oct. 4, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said the Democratic working group and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have “reached agreement on a couple of substantial issues,” but Neal declined to specify which specific issues those are.
Perdue visits Michigan to check in on potato industry
Oct. 3, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited Better Made Snack Foods in Detroit as part of a Michigan-wide agriculture tour to learn
more about the Michigan potato industry
The tour of the Detroit landmark included American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval, Michigan Potato Industry Commission Executive Director Kelly Turner and Michigan Potato Industry Commission Commissioner Phil Gusmano.
“It’s extremely important for us to continue to educate USDA on agriculture from an urban perspective,” said Gusmano. “The Michigan potato industry is not just planting and harvesting in the field but includes processors like ourselves and many other facets that contribute to our success. We want to thank Secretary Perdue for taking the time to learn the micro and macro functions of our industry and how vital Michigan potatoes are to us.”