An Agri-Pulse report says the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations may actually be costing agriculture other opportunities. The non-yet-fully-staffed Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is fully occupied with NAFTA.
However, groups like the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association want the Trump administration to push ahead with other trade agreements in order to cut tariffs with other countries like Japan and Vietnam.
Former USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber says U.S. negotiators are very skilled at what they do but NAFTA is a massive undertaking. However, NPPC CEO Neil Dirks says his group believes the U.S. can work on more than one trade deal at a time. The challenge is how to accomplish that with the USTR office understaffed.
Meanwhile, the European Union is moving quickly to establish trade deals and get a jump on competitors like the U.S. Glauber says the rest of the world is moving ahead on other deals and not waiting to see how NAFTA turns out. “They’re negotiating other trade agreements,” Glauber says. “Look at how active the European Union has been. Look at China, India, and other markets the U.S. has an interest in. Even Canada and Mexico are looking elsewhere.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.