Frank Muir, president of the Idaho Potato Commission, said the new North American trade agreement recently signed by President Trump â€œlevels the playing field for Idaho potato farmers.â€
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade pact is Trumpâ€™s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994, according to the Associated Press. The USMCA is designed to update the 26-year-old trade agreement to consider the rise of e-commerce and other technological changes. It also aims to encourage factories to move production to the United States, AP reported.
The agreement grants the U.S. tariff-free access to the Canadian dairy market, and U.S. farmers can now sell more of their agricultural products in Canada without being subject to Canadian limits on imports of some products, AP reported.
Xiaoxue Du, a University of Idaho professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, told the Idaho Press in an email that the new pact will help Idahoâ€™s dairies, wheat industry and potato farmers, but she is not yet sure by how much.
â€œCanada and Mexico are the largest two trade partners for Idaho potatoes,â€ Du said in an email. â€œUnder USMCA, reducing the use of trade distorting policies will help potato farmers.â€