AFBF Calls for Continued US Participation in NAFTA

US - The American Farm Bureau Federation is calling on the Trump Administration to move forward with improvements to the North American Free Trade Agreement but to ensure the United States remains part of the deal, Bruce Cochrane reports.
calendar icon 27 October 2017
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The American Farm Bureau Federation is one of a group organizations that's come together to raise the alarm over the potential negative consequences for agriculture of withdrawal from NAFTA, one of several such US based ad hoc coalitions representing food and agricultural trade groups, manufacturers and agriculture and food commodity organizations.

American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director for Congressional Relations Dave Solmonsen says, since the beginning of the year, there has been a very active effort to promote trade focusing on NAFTA.

Dave Solmonsen-American Farm Bureau Federation

The primary message has been, don't withdraw.

Keep NAFTA going.

We've had the benefits.

We want to continue to grow our opportunities in the North American market and we need to stay in the agreement but also we do want these negotiations that began in August and now are expected t continue into the first quarter of 2018 to succeed, to make some necessary changes to NAFTA.

It is a 25 year old agreement.

Several parts of US industry and parts in agriculture want to see some changes, want to see improvements in the agreement to make it work better for everybody so that's what we really want to do but, at the same time we want to make sure that we stay in the agreement.

Before NAFTA, US agriculture was selling to Canada and Mexico together about 8.9 billion dollars a year in ag products and now we're almost 40 billion dollars a year in exports.

Of course Canada and Mexico have increased their exports to us.

All three countries have grown together but you put Canada and Mexico together it's almost a third of all US agricultural exports so again the thing is to try and keep that going.

Mr Solmonsen acknowledges it's a good time to modernize the agreement but everybody knows the positives NAFTA has brought.

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