Governor Laura Kelly has urged Kansas’ congressional delegation to support the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), due to its importance to Kansas trade and exports, and the state’s economy.
“Kansas has always been – and always will be – an export state. We cannot prosper without access to international markets,” the governor said. “We need Congress to act. Ratifying USMCA, as well as improving relations with our trading partners around the globe, will benefit our agriculture sector and the economy as a whole.”
The downturn in the farm economy reportedly saw Kansas among 10 states with its 2017 net farm income more than 50 percent below the 10-year average. In all, 35 states saw net farm income below their 10-year average, Kansas included.
USMCA is expected to lead to an expansion of market access in Canada and Mexico of $450 million for U.S. agricultural exports. Kansas totals more than $10 billion in world exports annually.
In the letter also signed by Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers, Kelly noted the value of agricultural exports from Kansas to Canada and Mexico quadrupling from 1993 to 2016 after implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“Too much is at stake for Kansas if Congress fails to act on USMCA, especially as our farmers and ranchers struggle to rebuild after an historic year of natural disasters,” Kelly said.
As part of the Office of Rural Prosperity Listening Tour, Rogers has been hearing details of struggles in rural Kansas communities.
“Our producers in Kansas need modern trade agreements that expand the access to markets, and in turn boost their local economies,” the lieutenant governor said.