State Ag Directors Want NAFTA Fixes

As President Donald Trump gets set to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. state directors of agriculture are weighing in on which parts of the agreement they’d like to see fixed. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is a big booster of increasing trade opportunities and favors deals like NAFTA. However, they’re urging the new president to address what they call a series of unfair practices.

The state ag leaders have issues with how Canada classifies all U.S. wheat imports as feed-grade, which is the lowest classification possible. They also don’t like a recent move by Ottawa officials to implement new cheese standards that make it much more difficult to get U.S. cheese imports into the province. They’re also unhappy that a recent glut of Mexican fruits and vegetables into America are driving down prices for U.S. producers.

Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller spoke at a recent winter policy conference for state ag directors, saying,” We know NAFTA is probably going to be renegotiated, and we want to be at the table when that happens.”

 

Cargill Chief: NAFTA in “Good Place”

As Cargill Chair and CEO David MacLennan looks at the North American Free Trade Agreement, pulling out of the deal would have a “chilling effect on the already depressed agricultural economy.” He says new trade deals must fill the hole left by the Trump Administration’s move to exit the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He adds that it makes “no sense for Congress to try to ratify bilateral trade deals with multiple countries instead of ratifying one giant trade deal.”

MacLennan was in Washington this week to testify before Congress, saying there’s not a lot that Cargill wants to change in the North American Free Trade deal. He believes agricultural markets would have an extremely negative reaction if Trump should exit the deal. “I think it’s in a pretty good place right now,” MacLennan added.

Trump has vowed to ditch NAFTA if it can’t be renegotiated to be more of a benefit to U.S. interests. A move like this would also create major economic shock in Canada as well as Mexico. After consulting with many business interests in their country, Mexican officials told Reuters they expect negotiations on redoing NAFTA to begin sometime in May.

Source;  NAFB News