The American Farm Bureau Federation is closely monitoring the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). AFBF President, Zippy Duvall said, “The American Farm Bureau looks forward to working with the administration, Congress, other agricultural groups, and officials in Canada and Mexico to protect these important markets while also addressing issues that have limited the trade potential of U.S. farmers and ranchers. We remain committed to the goal of a positive, market-expanding and modernized NAFTA. Achieving this objective starts with ensuring the negotiations protect U.S. agriculture’s benefits under the current trade agreement.”
U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.1 billion in 2016. Since NAFTA was signed into law in 1993, Canada and Mexico have been two of the top five destinations for U.S. agricultural products and have accounted for 28 percent of the value to total agricultural exports from the United States.
“We want to thank Senator Steve Daines for signing onto a letter with other senators to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, urging him to prioritize the interests of American agriculture during the NAFTA renegotiation process,” noted Montana Farm Bureau National Affairs Director Nicole Rolf.
“We understand renegotiations present a good opportunity to address some challenges faced with this trade agreement, but it’s critical Ambassador Lighthizer keeps the importance and success of agricultural trade with Canada and Mexico in mind while reviewing this agreement,” Rolf added.
Farm Bureau priorities for a modernized NAFTA include:
• Updated, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary rules;
• Improved dispute settlement procedures for fresh fruits, vegetables and horticultural products;
• Eliminated or reduced Canadian tariff barriers to dairy, poultry eggs and wine, as well as the recently implemented barriers to ultra-filtered milk;
• Addressing the misuse of geographical indicators; and
• Developing a consistent, science-based approach to biotechnology.