Ag Groups Respond to NAFTA Withdrawal Plans04/27/2017
The National Corn Growers Association today denounced reports that the White House has drafted plans to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The following is a statement from NCGA President Wesley Spurlock.
“Mr. President, America’s corn farmers helped elect you. We are strong supporters of your administration and continue to stand ready to work with you to build a better farm economy. That begins with strong trade policy.
“Withdrawing from NAFTA would be disastrous for American agriculture. We cannot disrupt trade with two of our top trade partners and allies. This decision will cost America’s farmers and ranchers markets that we will never recover.
“NAFTA has been a huge win for American agriculture. Corn and corn product exports today account for 31 percent of farmer income. Mexico is the top export market for corn. Canada is also a top market for corn and ethanol. With a farm economy that is already weak, losing access to these markets will be a huge blow that will be felt throughout the ag value chain.
“Mr. President, agriculture and rural America are counting on you. We urge you not to withdraw from NAFTA.”
Wheat growers respond
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are alarmed over media reports today that the Trump Administration is considering a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico is our largest U.S. wheat buyer, importing more than 10 percent of all U.S. wheat exports this year. NAFTA truly opened the door to the strong and growing market opportunity in Mexico. Closing that door would be a terrible blow to the U.S. wheat industry and its Mexican customers.
USW and NAWG understand that there are several elements of the trade agreement that could be re-examined and modernized. However, we believe withdrawing from NAFTA would be a serious mistake. It could lead to new tariffs on U.S. wheat and threaten to undermine the long-standing, loyal relationship U.S. wheat farmers have built with Mexico’s wheat buyers and food industry. That would be devastating to U.S. wheat farmers already facing unprofitable prices and increasingly aggressive wheat exporting competitors.
Pork producers statement
“The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a tremendous success for the U.S. pork industry, which has seen an explosion in exports to Canada and Mexico since the deal was implemented in 1994.
“In fact, Mexico and Canada are now our No. 2 and No. 4 markets, so we absolutely must not have any disruptions to U.S. pork exports there. Even a short-term interruption in our exports would have a significant negative economic impact on U.S. pork producers.
“Abandoning NAFTA and going back to pre-NAFTA tariffs would be financially devastating to U.S. pork producers. Tens of thousands of U.S. jobs dependent on those exports would be lost.
“The bottom line is U.S. pork trade with Canada and Mexico has been very robust, and we need to maintain and even improve that trade. We’re all for modernizing NAFTA, but we cannot support efforts that would undermine the livelihoods of America’s 60,000 pork producers.”