Ag News: Mexico Upbeat on USMCA
**Mexico's top North American negotiator, Jesús Seade, is upbeat that the White House and lawmakers can reach an agreement on the USMCA before Thanksgiving.
Seade is basing his optimism on recent conversations held with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Seade believes a vote on USMCA will come up in the House soon.
Pelosi says, talks between congressional Democrats and administration officials over changes to the pact were in the “last mile” and she’ll allow a vote in return for concessions on labor and enforcement provisions.
**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue led a trade mission to Mexico last week to forge new opportunities with U.S. agriculture’s largest bilateral trading partner and second-largest export market.
The Secretary was joined by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and more than 100
industry and government representatives.
Six heads of state departments of agriculture joined Perdue on the trip, including Washington’s Derek Sandison.
**Retaliatory trade tariffs continue to hurt U.S. fruit exports.
According to agweb.com, updated USDA trade statistics show total U.S. exports of fresh fruit dropped 8% from September 2018 to August. U.S. exports of fresh vegetables rose 7% in the same period.
The numbers appear to confirm the stinging combined effect of retaliatory and standard tariffs of 50% or more applied by China and India over the past year.