Farm country overall shows reserved optimism regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) announcement Monday. The announcement marks a step forward, as Mexico and the U.S. have a basic agreement in place. However, with Canada yet to be included, many questions remain.
Farmers for Free Trade director Brian Kuehl says there is “significant work that remains” in delivering on trade priorities for agriculture.” The organization maintains that farmers will ultimately be judging any new NAFTA deal by two crucial measures: will it provide any new market access for American ag exports and will it do anything that erodes the gains the original NAFTA provided. Kuehl says U.S. farmers are looking for certainty and a “de-escalating” of the trade war that is putting U.S. agriculture “in the crosshairs.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Grains Council noted the importance of Mexico to U.S. farmers in a statement by CEO Tom Sleight. Mexico is a top export market for U.S. corn and other products. However, Sleight says Canada is the second largest ethanol market and a top ten corn market for the United States. While hopeful Canada will soon re-engage in the talks, Sleight says “we continue to oppose withdrawal from the existing NAFTA under any circumstances except the adoption of a new, beneficial and trilateral pact.”
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.