Ag groups want to work with Trump to revise NAFTA
North American Free Trade Agreement needs modernized, but gains achieved need to be preserved, businesses and organizations inform Trump
More than 130 organizations and companies from the food and agriculture sector have sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump that expresses their eagerness to work with his administration to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while preserving and expanding the gains achieved to date.
Businesses, organizations involved
Among those in the poultry, feed and pork sectors to sign the letter are: Adisseo, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, Bunge, California Grain and Feed Association, Cargill, American Soybean Association, CHS Inc., Archer Daniels Midland, National Association of Egg Farmers, Elanco Animal Health, National Association of Wheat Growers, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Grain and Feed Association, National Pork Producers Council, JBS USA, National Renderers Association, National Sorghum Producers, Land O’Lakes, National Turkey Federation, Nebraska Grain and Feed Association, North American Export Grain Association, North American Meat Institute, Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance, Nutriad, Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, Panscoma, U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S Soybean Export Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, Wheeler Brothers, Westway Feed Products, Smithfield Foods, South Dakota Grain and Feed Association, Zoetis, Texas Grain and Feed Association, Tyson Foods, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, and U.S. Grains Council.
Key points of the letter
"U.S. food and agricultural exports have produced a trade surplus for nearly 50 years," the letter notes. "Consistent growth over this period resulted in over $130 billion worth of exports, which created $423 billion in U.S. economic activity in 2015." The letter also noted that in the 20 years since NAFTA was implemented, the market integration it fostered helped quadruple the value of U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico.
"With a few key sector exceptions that still require attention, North America intraregional food and agriculture trade is now free of tariff and quota restrictions....," the letter continues. "Because of these market access gains, the food and agricultural sectors of the North American region have become far more integrated, as is evidenced by rising trade in agricultural products and substantial levels of cross-border investment in the agriculture and food sectors....[W]e look forward to working with your Administration on reducing the non-tariff trade barriers that continue to inhibit our exports to the North American marketplace, as well as to addressing the remaining tariffs impeding access for some U.S. export sectors."