President Trump promised during his campaign that the U.S. would withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. It now looks like he is about to make good on his promise. Following reports Wednesday that an executive order is being prepared that would withdraw the United States from NAFTA, farm groups were quick to react.
American Soybean Association (ASA) President Ron Moore, a soybean farmer from Roseville, IL, warned in a statement that such a move could have disastrous consequences for the nation’s leading agricultural export in light of the still-struggling U.S. agricultural economy, “Without mincing words, initiating a process to withdraw from NAFTA is a terrible idea, and it will only mean a longer and more difficult struggle for farmers to recover in this economy.”
“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,” stated NPPC President Ken Maschhoff.
The Trump administration maintains that NAFTA has led to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., but NCGA President Wesley Spurlock reminded the White House that NAFBA has benefited another part of the U.S. economy, agriculture, “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.”
The U.S. Grains Council called for changes in NAFTA, but not for an abandonment of the trade agreement, “There is strong support and rationale to update and modernize NAFTA. Before today, we believed we were on track to have a reasonable discussion about how to update the agreement in ways that make sense for all parties.”