New trade deal passed in U.S. Senate could impact farmers in Louisiana


WEST MONROE, LA (01/19/20)– The world of agriculture is changing for farmers and ranchers as a new agreement is replacing the North America Free Trade deal that was signed 26 years ago. Agriculture is ranked in the top three of Louisiana’s most important industries. Some locals say it just got better as the United States Senate passed the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement on January 6, 2020.

“From a general overview, this is going to have a positive impact on not only U.S. agriculture but Louisiana agriculture,” said Ron Harrell, Commodity Managing Director for Louisiana Farm Bureau.

According to Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry, $12.7 billion in agriculture and non-agriculture exports from Louisiana went to Canada and Mexico in 2018. Ag officials say Louisiana farmers and ranchers will see an increase in market access and benefits from other agriculture products.

“Our farmers have more opportunity and a greater market to go after. Therefore yielding them greater returns,” said Rich Lee with Ruston Tractor.

However, one local farm equipment company hopes the results of the USMCA benefits them as well.

“Hopefully that will boost the local economy, especially with equipment sales and things like that,” said Lee.

When farmers can sell their crops in more places, they can invest in new equipment.

“They [farmers] know when times are tough, they know how to get skinny. When times are good, they know how to spend their money,” said Lee.

Benefiting not just Louisiana farmers but also companies that supply farmers the tools they need.

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