- On December 20, 2019
Alexandria, Va.—December 20, 2019—The following is a statement from American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President & CEO Andy LaVigne regarding passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade:
“The House’s bipartisan passage of USMCA is great news for the American seed industry and agriculture as a whole. Seed is a global industry, with U.S. exports totaling $1.9 billion in 2018. Seed exports to the U.S.’ largest markets—Mexico and Canada—combined for a total of $630 million.
“The USMCA includes the seed industry’s core priorities for trade. Specifically, the agreement: provides stronger support for agricultural biotechnology; recognizes the importance of evolving plant breeding methods like gene editing; strengthens science-based sanitary and phytosanitary regulations; and provides strong intellectual property protections, including a requirement for the adoption of UPOV 91 by the agreement participating countries.
“Trade is absolutely essential for the livelihood of American farmers and the U.S. economy at large, especially when we look at our neighbors to the North and the South. The USMCA expands market opportunities with our biggest trading partners and we’re hopeful for swift passage by the Senate early in the new year.”
Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASTA is the leading voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. The association’s broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.