Trade More Important to Agriculture Than the New Farm Bill

Many in Washington are focused on the Farm Bill and the North American Free Trade Agreement these days. You might be surprised by which one a local university economist thinks is more important.

“I think trade is,” Iowa State University Economist Chad Hart says. “When you look at U.S. Ag over the past few years, we have created a tremendous amount of product. We had record corn, record soybeans and record wheat production so we need to get to our customers. We have to look at international trade to build and grow our Agricultural markets.”

The U.S. has around 20 trade agreements with countries around the world. There are 195. Hart says adding new markets is extremely important. The Trump Administration released their objectives for NAFTA last week. Hart says their main bullet point for Ag was maintaining what we already have.

“That is the key here. What the administration hopes to do is maintain what we have in Agriculture while improving other areas. It is going to be a tricky wire for them to scamper across but that’s what they hope to do,” Hart says.

Hart spoke at the Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit Thursday.

Source: Iowa Agribusiness Network 

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