A panel of expert witnesses told the House Agriculture Committee this week that speed is a critical factor in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The uncertainty over how negotiations may play out is causing some importers to look elsewhere for suppliers. Many of the importers that are looking elsewhere for chicken and grain products are located in Mexico. Those buyers are looking at South America to supply their needs and it shows in America’s export numbers. Corn, sorghum, and barley exports are down seven percent and will only get worse if negotiations drag on for a long period of time. Foreign importers are worried that President Donald Trump will follow through on his threat to pull the U.S. out of NAFTA altogether. “That threat prompted the Mexican government to look to Brazil and Argentina for alternative sources of corn and other grain products,” says Floyd Gaibler, a Director with the U.S. Grains Council. Government and trade sources have told Agri-Pulse that they hope to wrap up negotiations by the end of this year, but that’s not a firm deadline. Ag groups fear exports will fall further if it’s not done by the end of 2017.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.