The organization Farmers for Free Trade is in the midst of an RV whistle stop tour going through the Midwest to spread awareness and build advocacy for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. They stopped in Romney, Indiana on Wednesday at Brent Bible Farms for a roundtable discussion that included Republican Congressman Jim Baird, who serves on the House Ag Committee.
Baird told Hoosier Ag Today that while everyone present at the roundtable understands the value of free trade, “I’m not sure, across the country, that everybody understands how important agriculture is to the total economy of this country. It takes some time to familiarize them with that kind of information and the discussion here, and probably the basis for this whole trip, is to communicate and communicate that message across the country.”
As for USMCA, Bible expressed frustration with House Democratic leadership for not seeing progress yet.
“There are probably some valid questions that some of the leadership wants to make sure are answered, but I also think that there is some political hold up to that process. I think the leadership in the House has decided that this is going to be something that they’re going to hold on to for a little bit and push the administration on some other issues.”
Baird also expressed frustration at the timeline but said this isn’t just a Republican vs. Democrat issue as it has been played out in the media. He knows some Democrats are in support of USMCA.
“There are several legislators that are from agricultural districts in rural areas and they understand the importance and value of the rural American. So, if they have that kind of constituency, they’re going to be interested in making sure agriculture stays stable and we can do something with getting this passed.”
The Farmers for Free Trade #MotorcadeForTrade RV whistle stop tour heads to Illinois next. Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign co-chaired by two former US senators, Democrat Max Baucus and Indiana Republican Richard Lugar, that advocates for free trade.