Congressmen Roger Marshall and Ron Estes are among Kansas representation in Washington, D.C. sharing optimism that the Sunflower State is going to benefit from the new proposed trade agreement, the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) formerly known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that's been in place for 24 years.
"This is just the greatest day I've had as far as being a Congressional representative for Kansas, just a huge, huge victory for the state of Kansas," Marshall said of the new agreement expected to receive Congressional approval.
The biggest changes with the USMCA are to the dairy and automotive industries. Highlights of the new deal include better access to dairy markets for U.s. consumers.
"Fixing some of the inequities that were put in place in the original NAFTA agreement particularly with Canada regarding dairy, making sure we address those and making sure it was really a level playing field for everybody," Estes says of the U.S. dairy benefit. "We've been so successful on so many of our agriculture products over the last several years under NAFTA with our operations working with Canada, working with Mexico. Being able to get this USMCA agreement moving forward is just going to be so beneficial to continue there."
Marshall says all of Kansas agriculture will benefit from the USMC "either directly or indirectly." One likely benefactor he mentioned is a large milk-processing plant in Garden City.
The congressman says about 400,000 jobs in Kansas are dependent on NAFTA.
Senator Jerry Moran further addressed Kansas' reliance on a solid trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
"I have been clear that both Canada and Mexico -- Kansas' top two exporter markets -- must be part of any final agreement," Moran says. "I appreciate the administration working to make certain these markets remain available to Kansas farmers, ranchers and manufacturers, providing them some much-needed certainty. I will further analyze the details of this agreement, but this announcement is clearly a positive development."