Farmers, business owners look forward to benefits of USMCA

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 7:33 PM CST
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When then-candidate Trump first announced wanting to change NAFTA, many farmers say they were nervous. Now they're saying they're pretty happy with the new USMCA that was just signed in Congress last week.

Mark McHargue is a fourth generation farmer in Central City who says he is also really looking forward to this new agreement.

"2019 was a rough year. I think any farmer you talk to will tell you they're happy 2019 is over," McHargue said. "I would say USMCA passing is just another thing that will add a positive to going into 2020."

New trade deals benefit all Nebraskans, not just the farmers, because when they do good on the farm businesses also do good in town.

"25% of the income in Nebraska comes from agriculture, so it's the largest sector," McHargue said. "Really if agriculture does even a little bit better, it affects your downtown, tractor sales, home sales."

Mark's son Jordan owns a building company in Central City and says a large chunk of his business comes from farmers like his dad.

"There's probably a quarter of our business that's for sure directly farm related; building a house for a farmer or a farm family or just construction industry in the ags," Jordan said.

Jordan says his company really felt the effects of the rough year farmers had in 2019 with only working on about three or four farm-related projects all year.

"It does trickle down to small businesses in rural communities because the farmers do play a large part in everything that's happening in small communities," he added.

He's looking forward to seeing this deal bring more farmers through his doors.

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