If the Administration is exercising their rights to support “innovation, nutrition security, sustainability, and the mutual success of our farmers and producers”, they must also advance social justice, food sovereignty and environmental protections for all partners instead of a race to the bottom for the producers and workers providing our food.
Mexico is not backing down on its push to revive its national corn industry. “We are committed to transitioning into an agri-food system that is fair, healthy, sustainable and competitive,” said deputy secretary for agriculture, Victor Suárez.
In essence, the USMCA panel decision affirms Canada’s right to maintain its supply management program but could undermine Canadian farmers and food processing workers’ ability to benefit economically from local milk and value-added food products.
The fact that the U.S. continues to deregulate genetic engineering — in the face of evidence of harm to both workers and biodiversity from associated pesticide overuse15 does not justify imposing these policies on other countries under the guise of trade policy. While agribusiness trade groups may demand such policies (which certainly benefit global pesticide and seed companies), they do not benefit family farmers.
We are unified in our opposition to the U.S. government petition against Canada, and call on the Biden-Harris administration to rescind this action and to advance strong worker rights protection and dairy policy reform policy in the U.S.
The disappointing results for farmers, rural communities, and working families throughout North America remind us that massive trade agreements should not be negotiated behind closed doors but negotiated openly with public input to ensure a fair deal for all.
The USMCA does nothing to stop the outsourcing of American jobs, to combat climate change, to protect the environment, or to stop the destructive race to the bottom.
The USMCA missed the chance to address low prices for products by independent family farmers as well as climate change.
Whether it is through an update to the USMCA trade deal or through new legislation, one thing is clear: Americans cannot wait any longer for this critical investment in food safety and the good-paying jobs our families need.
The new USMCA takes a step back in other areas, reading like a de-regulatory wish list for global agribusiness firms operating in all three countries.
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