Group asks for a modernization of NAFTA
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
With U.S. President Donald Trump’s focus reportedly shifting to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), agricultural groups in the United States are urging the new leader to keep their industry in mind.
“Our industry is the heart of rural America, providing employment all along the value chain to ensure that U.S. and global consumers have access to high-quality, safe, and affordable food,” reads a letter signed by more than 100 American agricultural groups. Signees include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and National Pork Producers Council.
President Trump has called NAFTA a one-sided deal and plans to renegotiate America’s position in the agreement. The groups understand there is room for improvement but say part of NAFTA’s success is the collaboration between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“Although some important gaps in U.S. export access still remain, increased market access under NAFTA has been a windfall for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors,” the letter reads. “U.S. food and agriculture exports to both countries have more than quadrupled, growing from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.6 billion in 2015.”
Ron Moore, president of the American Soybean Association and soybean farmer, released a statement separate from the group letter.
“Given the size and impact of the Mexican and Canadian markets for American soybean producers, we’re watching the Administration’s decisions very, very closely, and it’s fair to say that we’re nervous,” he said in the statement.
“Throughout his campaign, President Trump spoke of the need to give farmers an active role in helping to make policy decisions that impact us. This is clearly the first of those instances, and we look forward to our part in that process.”