President Trump Signs USMCA

  • On January 29, 2020

Today, President Trump today signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), after easily clearing the Senate in a bipartisan vote earlier this month. The agreement provides much needed certainty and key reforms to ensure continued open market access to Mexico and Canada – the two largest markets for U.S. seed, and a major market for many U.S. agriculture products.

USMCA will benefit the U.S. seed industry in a number of specific ways. It provides key provisions to strengthen intellectual property rights, including the requirement that Mexico adopt UPOV 91 requirements. It recognizes the importance of plant breeding innovations, like gene editing, by including language to enhance information exchange and cooperation around agricultural biotechnology trade issues. Additionally, USMCA emphasizes the need for transparency and science-based approaches to phytosanitary measures and includes a new consultation process to resolve disputes between countries in order to keep trade moving and reduce non-tariff barriers.