Nebraska leaders applaud new USMCA

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Farmers and ranchers across the state have been waiting for some good news this year, and finally got some Tuesday after officials struck a historic trade deal.

Representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico signed the new USCMA Tuesday in Mexico. Congress still needs to ratify the deal, which isn't expected to happen until after the new year. (Source: NBC)

After more than a year of debate, the White House and House Democrats made a deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Tuesday. Representatives from all three countries signed the deal shortly after in Mexico.

"This is so important to trade for farmers and ranchers here in Nebraska, and really for everyone in the state," said Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. "When farmers and ranchers are doing well, typically the state does well. When farmers and ranchers struggle, often times the state struggles. This is a time when something is happening that's good for everyone."

Nelson said the agreement will also open up other doors for international trade with the U.S. He said it may even help end the trade war with China.

The agreement will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Senator Ben Sasse, (R) Nebraska, and Gov. Pete Ricketts, (R) Nebraska, also responded positively to the progress made Tuesday.

"Listen, it's about dang time, and it took a messy fight, but here's the great news - we've earned a win for Nebraska farmers and ranchers," Sasse said.

"The president and his team have worked tirelessly to build bipartisan support for it in Congress. Approval of the trade agreement will expand opportunities for Nebraska's farm families, and we look forward to its final approval," Ricketts said.

There's still some work to be done on the USMCA. Congress needs to ratify the deal, which isn't expected to happen until the new year.