Colorado farmers and ranchers are happy and relieved to see the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enter into force and remove years of uncertainty over the industry’s most important trade agreement. USMCA goes into effect today, cementing a trade agreement that will provide an additional $2 billion in agricultural exports between the three nations.

“The completion of USMCA provides a much-needed dose of optimism and certainty to agriculture producers rocked with the fallout from COVID-19,” said Don Shawcroft, an Alamosa rancher and president of the Colorado Farm Bureau. “Our farmers and ranchers welcome the opportunity to build on the wild success of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the stabilizing effect the USMCA will have on agricultural markets.”

Under NAFTA, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $8 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017. Colorado exports between $2 billion and $3 billion of agricultural products to Canada and Mexico, making the two nations Colorado’s largest agriculture trading partners. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, agricultural exports will grow by $2 billion due to the provisions of the USMCA.

The new agreement will create improvements in U.S. access to Canadian dairy and wheat markets. Mexico has agreed that all grading standards for agriculture products will be non-discriminatory. The agreement also enhances science-based trading standards among the three nations.

“The uncertainty over the future of the trading relationship between our countries can now be put bed. And agriculture producers have one less worry on their minds,” said Shawcroft.