On July 24th, more than 40 farmers, ranchers, producers and growers representing various California food and agriculture products participated in a fly-in in Washington, D.C., to advocate to their members of Congress for swift passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA-16) and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34) spoke with attendees during a morning breakfast briefing before participants began their one-on-one meetings. The advocacy day ended with a reception for California food and ag champions, where attendees sampled California food and drink while learning how North American trade benefits growers, producers and food companies. Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA-5), Collin Peterson (D-MN-7) and Mike Conaway (R-TX-11) were also in attendance in the evening, where they each delivered remarks highlighting the importance and their support of USMCA.
California is the nation’s largest producer and exporter of food and agricultural products. In 2018, California ag exports to Canada and Mexico totaled $6.6 billion. The International Trade Commission determined that the USMCA would have a positive impact on the U.S. economy and a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector. In fact, the USMCA would raise the U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion, pumping an additional $2.2 billion, or 1.1 percent, into the U.S. economy through increases in agricultural and food exports.
IDFA, along with California Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and California Dairies, Inc., coordinated the advocacy day.