The Montana Farm Bureau, which has been extremely concerned about the effect of tariffs on farmers and ranchers, was pleased to see some movement in the renegotiation of the NAFTA agreement in regards to Mexico.

“Today’s announcement that the U.S. and Mexico have come to a preliminary agreement is very encouraging,” said Nicole Rolf, Montana Farm Bureau National Affairs Director.  “Mexico has become one of our major agriculture markets since the inception of NAFTA so securing those markets for the future is of utmost importance.  We’ve been hearing for months now that an agreement was close with Mexico and that Canada would follow soon after. I certainly hope that proves true, as we’d like to see our markets to the north—Canada is our number-one trade partner—secured before harvest is completely over.” 

Rolf added, “We are hearing reports the agreement preserves the arrangement of zero tariffs on farm goods between the U.S. and Mexico, which is a big relief to Montana farmers and ranchers. I look forward to learning more about new provisions which will treat American farmers more fairly, especially with regard to agriculture biotechnology and modern agriculture practices.” 

The American Farm Bureau Federation has been closely tracking the progress of trade talks between the two countries. 

“This is the kind of trade news we have been waiting for. In a time when the U.S. economy is booming, our farmers have been left behind,” noted American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “Open markets and good trade agreements will give American agriculture the opportunity to be a part of this booming economy. We need negotiators to convince Canadian officials that they, too, will benefit from a revised treaty. We are hopeful that the value of a continued and improved NAFTA for all will bring everyone back to the negotiating table.” 

Although Farm Bureau applauds the work with Mexico, there is still a lot of work to do outside of North America. “We need to resolve our trade issues with China to create better opportunities for American farmers and ranchers there. We look forward to working with the Administration to strengthen agricultural exports in new and existing markets around the world,” Duvall concluded.