A large part of rural America voted in favor of Donald Trump during the recent presidential election. An Associated Press report says rural voters were drawn to Trump’s ideas on reducing environmental regulations, increasing law enforcement, and redoing health care. But farmers are looking on nervously as the White House announced last week it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. While Trump called NAFTA a “job-killer,” rural America benefitted from NAFTA as it boosted U.S. farm exports by widening access to Mexican and Canadian markets. After briefly considering the idea of scrapping the deal entirely, Trump’s top trade official, Robert Lighthizer, informed Congress last week that the administration will instead renegotiate the deal. NAFTA, as well as other trade deals, has been good for American farmers, who will take a heavy hit if the White House should ultimately ditch the pact or start a trade war with current trading partners. The U.S. has enjoyed an agricultural trade surplus that stretches back to the 1960s. Last year, farm exports exceeded imports by more than $20 billion.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.