Joco Opinion

USMCA ratification would benefit Kansas farmers, families, and factory workers

The USMCA would open Canada’s market to more agricultural exports from Kansas and the rest of the United States.
The USMCA would open Canada’s market to more agricultural exports from Kansas and the rest of the United States. AGCO

As an American-born company with offices right here in Kansas, AGCO Corporation understands how much trade matters to the prosperity of Kansans and to Americans across the country.

For example, more than 12 million American working families are able to put food on the table thanks to the United States’ ability to trade with Canada and Mexico alone. Farmers especially know just how important trade with our northern and southern neighbors is. Canada and Mexico account for nearly one-third of U.S. agricultural exports every year.

It’s why we need a strong trade agreement here in North America. And we need a version of the agreement that works for a 21st century global economy. That’s exactly what the USMCA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, does. However, politics in Washington, D.C., is getting in the way of its ratification.

But we can’t let that happen. Too many of AGCO’s employees, including many hardworking Kansas families, factory workers and farmers are relying on elected officials in Congress to make the right decision and support the USMCA’s ratification.

Here’s why ratifying the USMCA makes sense.

Kansas’s economy depends on trade in North America. Canada and Mexico purchase more than one-third of Kansas’ total global manufacturing exports. That’s led to AGCO and other equipment manufacturers in Kansas creating nearly 20,000 jobs in the Sunflower State. These are well-paying jobs too, as our industry pays 58% higher than average. And it’s not just the jobs that currently exist that we need to worry about — it’s what’s possible with passing the USMCA.

AGCO is proud to have manufacturing locations in Kansas and across the country. We hope the government takes these steps to keep the agricultural economy strong.

According to the International Trade Commission, the USMCA could add more than $68 billion to the U.S. economy and create 176,000 new jobs over six years. But there are other economic benefits beyond jobs. Our industry’s annual investments result in $2.14 billion added to the Kansas economy and $353 million in increased tax revenue.

The USMCA would also benefit Kansas farmers and small businesses. Once the USMCA is ratified, it would open Canada’s market to more U.S. agricultural exports, creating new opportunities for U.S. farmers. It would also help small businesses in Kansas by updating customs rules that will cut red tape, making it easier to sell to Canadian and Mexican customers.

All of this is why American voters support Congress passing the USMCA by nearly a four-to-one margin. It’s also why Kansas voters need elected officials to support farmers, factory workers, and working families and support the USMCA.

Bob Crain is senior vice president and general manager, Americas, for AGCO Corporation, and a member of the board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.