USMCA focus of 5th Congressional District train trip

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Missouri Director of Ag Chris Chinn and were joined by a small group of farmers and ag leaders Friday to explore the benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to Missouri agriculture during a grain elevator tour of the 5th Congressional District. Brownfield’s Cyndi Young was there.

Aboard Kansas City Southern’s Southern Belle traveling from Marshall to Kansas City, Governor Parson told Brownfield he had good dialogue with Representative Cleaver.  He said the congressman has an opportunity as a senior legislator to talk to the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives from a different perspective.  Parson said the entire congressional district, regardless of which side of the aisle they are on, should be supportive of USMCA because it means so much to small farmers, small business, and big business of the state.  He called for action, saying, “The clock is ticking on us.”

Representative Cleaver told Brownfield he wants to be able to vote in favor of the agreement: “It is my goal to get to yes.”

Specifically, Cleaver said he would like to see monitoring included and to have the average wage definition clarified to be fair for workers from all countries. 

The congressman said he understands the importance of USMCA to farmers, agribusiness, manufacturing, and to Kansas City Southern railway and it’s cross-border service.

Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn told Brownfield farmers are telling her they want fair and free trade.  

They want access to markets.  They want trade, not aid.  If we can get USMCA across the finish line, it sends a very strong signal to our other trading partners that we are open for business and that we’re serious and we want to have fair markets. . .and we’re going to make sure our farmers get those fair markets.

Missouri’s 5th District contributes nearly 26,000 jobs and $7.5 billion in ag sales. It is home to more than 3, 700 farms including 1.1 million acres of land.  The district is also home to agribusiness and manufacturing.

In Missouri, agriculture employs nearly 400,000 people. 

The tour was hosted by the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City.

Cyndi Young reports:

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