Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin farmers hopeful USMCA passes Congress as window of opportunity closes according to Mexico's consul generalSubmitted: 08/13/2019
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin
Reporter/Anchor
sgoin@wjfw.com

Wisconsin farmers hopeful USMCA passes Congress as window of opportunity closes according to Mexico's consul general
STEVENS POINT - Wisconsin farmers hurt by President Trump's trade wars could see some relief soon.

Mexico's representative to the Badger State believes the vicious cycle of tariffs and retaliation will end if Congress passes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing NAFTA in the process.

Trade with Mexico supports more than 97,000 jobs in Wisconsin. What's more, Mexico imports $3.4 billion worth of goods from America's Dairyland as one of the state's top export destinations, second only to Canada.

Under USMCA, Julian Adem, the Mexican Consul General to Milwaukee says exports from Wisconsin to Mexico are expected to increase.

"The window of opportunity is September, maybe October," said Julian Adem.

Adem imparted that message of urgency to Wisconsin farmers and manufacturers Tuesday in talks touting the expected benefits of USMCA following Mexico's ratification of the trade deal on June 19.  Central Wisconsin economic development group Centergy hosted the presentation at Mid-State Technical College in Stevens Point.

"The economic success of North America depends on a strong regional trade partnership," said Adem.

During his rermarks, Adem dedicated the most time to USMCA provisions that would raise wages for 40% to 45% of automobile workers to $16. American car makers would also be required to use 75% domestic parts, up from 62.5% under NAFTA, or face a 2.5% tariff.

"We admit that we're going to a be a trade zone and we're going to work together," said Adem.

Adem acknowledged that the $16 pay increase would not likely affect Mexican workers as the country's low cost of production could not support the economic influx. However, Adem was confident that USMCA's rigorous manufacturing requirements would not encourage car makers to move their factories out of his country.

"The risk exists, but I think after 25 years of developing an experienced workforce in Mexico and all the plants which are fully stocked and have the latest technology, it's still going to be more convenient than setting up shop from scratch in a country where the workers are untrained," said Adem.

On impacts to food production, farmers like Brian Wysocki with central Wisconsin potato and vegetable producer Heartland Farms feel the deal is long overdue.

"It can't happen fast enough. I wish Congress and the legislation would pass it sooner and not keep stalling," said Wyoscki. "I think we could benefit right away if it was enacted."

Farmer's like Doug Rebout with the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association hope the new agreement will quell the president's constant threat of tariffs, like those he almost imposed in May against Mexico over illegal immigration.

"Anytime tariff is [sic] mentioned it affects our prices and what we're getting paid on the farm," said Rebout.

In a series of tweets on June 7, the president announced that the previously announced 5% tariff on all Mexican imports was "indefinitely suspended."

"Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border," the President tweeted.

"We're hoping once this trade deal gets done, that all the tariffs with Mexico are also done," said Rebout.

Adem is also hopeful the tariff threats will cease under the new trade deal.

"We don't want the tariffs in anyway, this trade is the most important thing for us and we just proved it," said Adem.

He believes new labor laws adopted on May 1 in connection with USMCA that strengthen collective bargaining in Mexico will encourage Democrats in the House to ratify the trade deal even though it would give the president a political win.

"For political reasons, it's not so easy to give the President of the United States what would look like a victory," said Adem. "As the say, a feather in his cap."

Adem added that a recent trade deal with the European Union that restricts the use of common cheese names like "Asiago" and "Parmesan" would not affect American dairy producers.

He went on to say Mexico would be happy to move forward on a deal with the United States, even if Canada was no longer interested following October elections.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

LA CROSSE - The Diocese of La Crosse has released the names of 25 clergy men with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.

At least 16 of the men on the list face multiple allegations of child sex abuse.

Of the 25 men on the list, 18 have died. All of the men have been taken out of public ministry.

The list did not specify when or where the alleged abuse took place.

Eight of the men on the list have worked in Eau Claire including Bruce Ball (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School), Thomas Dempsey (Sacred Heart of Jesus-Sacred Heart Hospital), James Ennis (Sacred Heart of Jesus), James Finucan (St. James the Greater), James E. Mason (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School, Newman Center-Regis High School), James Stauber (St. Patrick Jr. High School-Regis High School), Raymond J. Wagner (St. Patrick) and Daniel Budzynski (Newman Parish).

Seven of the men have worked in Chippewa Falls including Eugene Comiskey (Holy Ghost), Thomas Dempsey (Northern Colony and Training School), Richard Herrmann (St. Charles Borromeo-McDonnel High School), William Hertzenberg (Notre Dame), James E. Mason (McDonnel High School), Albert Sonnberger (Notre Dame, St. Charles Borromeo) and Francis Zimmerer (St. Joseph's Hospital).

+ Read More

OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - A Wisconsin teenager who was shot and wounded when he stabbed a school resource officer has been ordered to stand trial.

Grant Fuhrman, 17, is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack at Oshkosh West High School.

Fuhrman is accused of stabbing Mike Wissink multiple times with a barbecue fork. Court documents say the officer was unable to reach his stun gun so he shot Fuhrman twice. Neither was seriously injured.

The school was evacuated and classes were cancelled for two days.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods held a session on how to vote in Wisconsin at ArtStart earlier this evening.

They highlighted the voting process including what forms of ID are required.

Co-chair of the group, Debra Durchslag said she was happy after Sunday's turnout.

"I was very pleased to see a new group of interested Oneida county residents who are very much interested to register unregistered voters," said Durchslag

The League is a non-partisan organization devoted to educating the public about local and national politics.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Professional snowmobilers took to the racetrack in Eagle River this weekend. However, they weren't the only ones riding on some top-of-the line sleds.

Arctic Cat was at the derby offering demo rides on their 2021 models. People got a chance to try out the different machines, and put money down on a model of their choice.

Sales director Joe Klosterman said it's important for people to try before they buy.

"We do it to give an experience to the consumer," said Klosterman. "You wouldn't buy a car without driving it. We've also got a new model this year that I think is going to bring a lot of new people into the industry." 

Demo workers took guests out on a 10-mile loop to experience some of the best trails in the Northwoods. Those trails featured curbs, some fresh powder, and lots of bumps to test the machines' suspension.

Klosterman said Arctic Cat sold lots of sleds over the weekend thanks to the promotion.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.

The bills Evers, a Democrat, is requesting would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping in the state and a fourth proposal would expand the enforcement capacity of the Departments of Revenue and Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to prevent vaping products from being sold to minors.

The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.

"As a parent, grandparent, and lifelong educator, I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids," Evers said in a statement. "Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action."

The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - High school and middle school cross country skiers spent the weekend competing in Rhinelander for the annual Ascension Northwoods Nordic Hodag Challenge.

The two-day event attracted teams from more than 10 different schools across Wisconsin, and some schools from Michigan.

Head Coach for Rhinelander Nordic Charil Reis said her team spent a lot of time hitting the trails thanks to the generosity of mother nature. 

"We've been blessed with a lot of snow this year, so we haven't had to do a lot of indoor type of practice," said Reis.

+ Read More

IRON COUNTY - One person died in a snowmobiling incident in Iron County early Sunday morning. The victim was identified as a 47-year-old female.

According to a press release by the Iron County Sheriff's Department, dispatch received a call at 1:52 a.m. reporting a snowmobile crashed on Trail 17 just outside Hurley and the operator was unresponsive.

First responders arrived at 2:04 a.m. and began taking life saving measures. The driver was then transported by rescue sled to Beacon ambulance and then to Aspirus GVH in Ironwood, MI.

After continued life-saving measures, the 47-year-old female was pronounced dead at Aspirus Hospital.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: