Cory Gardner: USMCA passage a major win for Colorado

Earlier this month, I was proud to vote in favor of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement when it passed the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly by a vote of 89-10. 

After months of delay by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this much-needed modernization of the North America Free Trade Agreement has finally earned Congress’ approval, which is welcome news for producers and exporters in Colorado.The USMCA agreement is one way that we can create new trade opportunities for our farmers and ranchers — because we’ve seen the benefits of trade in our state.

A great portion of our economy in Colorado is dependent on trade with Canada and Mexico. Colorado exported $2.7 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018, making them our largest trading partners.

Our farmers produce nearly half of all of the potatoes that Mexico imports from the United States.

And Colorado’s biggest export? Beef. It accounts for more than $880 million worth of goods shipped to Mexico and Canada.

In 2018, Colorado exported more than $45 million worth of milk, cream, cheese and related dairy products to Mexico. Meanwhile, we only exported about $2.2 million worth of those products to Canada. 

USMCA will reform Canada’s protectionist dairy policies and help American dairy farmers access the dairy markets in Canada so that we can increase our exports to Canada in cream, milk, cheese and other dairy products. 

We sent more than $31 million worth of cereals like wheat to Mexico in 2018 and more than $2 million to Canada.

Even our sugar and candy manufacturers benefit from trade with Mexico and Canada. Both countries have received more than $14 million each worth of Colorado sugar and confectionary exports.

And beyond commodities like wheat, dairy, and sugar, our electronic machinery manufacturers shipped Canada more than $105 million worth of its goods in 2018 and Mexico received about $60 million worth of our electronic goods.

The USMCA includes new digital provisions to account for the changing landscape of new technologies, advanced manufacturing products, and it tackles the issue of cross-border data flow, something that was in its very infancy when NAFTA was enacted.

New customs and trade rules will cut red tape and make it easier for Colorado startups and entrepreneurs to sell their products into Canada and to Mexico. U.S. agricultural and food exports are expected to rise more than $2 billion every year under USMCA. 

This $2 billion a year increase will mean significant opportunities for Colorado agriculture.

I live in rural Colorado, surrounded by wheat farms, corn farms, hog producers, and feed lots. I know how important trade is to our state. The USMCA is critical to the survival of agriculture in Colorado and this country, and I’m proud to have gotten it across the finish line to support Colorado’s workers, agriculture industry, and economy.


U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)

The Greeley Tribune