Tester Statement on Passage of North American Trade Deal

Senator: “Enforcement is critical for this deal moving forward”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today welcomed the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the new North American free trade pact. It passed the Senate 89-10.

“Every Montanan working in production ag knows you need certainty and open markets to move your products,” said Tester, the Senate’s only working farmer. “The USMCA will help Montana producers regain the stability they’ve lost under this Administration and makes progress on critical issues like Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading practices. Enforcement is critical for this deal moving forward, but we can’t take our eye off the ball on expanding access to markets around the world so Montana producers have more avenues to turn a profit.”

The agreement was applauded by agriculture groups across the state.

“The Montana Grain Growers Association thanks Senator Tester for supporting Senate passage of the USMCA!” said MGGA President Vince Mattson. “This important trade agreement gives our farmers some stability with two of our largest trading partners in the world. It will serve as a pathway to better markets, improved prices and act as a stepping stone for many more trade agreements in the future.”

“The Montana Farm Bureau thanks Senator Tester for his support of the USMCA,” said Montana Farm Bureau President Hans McPherson. “This trade agreement is essential for Montana’s farmers and ranchers to have commerce with two of our largest trading partners. Montana Farm Bureau has been working hard to see this agreement pass, and we truly appreciate Senator Tester’s dedication to the USMCA and its benefit to Montana agriculture.”

“I appreciate Senator Tester fighting to bring an end to these unnecessary trade tensions by passing USMCA,” said Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer. ‘While I am disappointed this deal fails to address important issues like country of origin labeling (COOL), it represents progress in raising labor and environmental standards. Let’s get this done so we can move on to expanding markets for family farmers and ranchers.”

“We are pleased to see positive movement on the Senate side and support from Senator Tester on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),” said Montana Stockgrowers Association President Fred Wacker. “This agreement will preserve duty-free, unrestricted access for U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico, which will provide our Montana ranchers the certainty they need.”

Tester has been an outspoken critic of President Trump’s trade war and has pushed to hold the Administration accountable by passing legislation to give Congress a role in imposing tariffs. He has heard about the impact of these tariffs firsthand, holding in-person listening sessions with Montana farmers, ranchers, and small business owners about the consequences of the trade war.