House Ag Committee leaders and a group of farm lobbyists are calling on the Trump Administration to not withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Hagstrom Report says they’re also asking the White House to finish negotiations quickly to avoid potential declines in agricultural exports. Texas Republican and House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway and Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson, the ranking member, met with lobbyists this week to discuss NAFTA. Following the discussion, Conaway, Peterson, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, and the pork, dairy, grains, and fruit and vegetable lobbyists said they were all unified in their opposition to withdrawal from NAFTA and in favor of a quick end to the negotiations.
However, the difficulty in the mission to prevent NAFTA withdrawal became apparent when the dairy lobby defended the Trump administration’s proposals to force Canada to end its supply management system. The uncertainty surrounding the NAFTA negotiations is hurting American exports in an increasingly competitive international economy. U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight said the South American grain companies are improving their competitiveness every day.
The European Union is taking advantage of the uncertainty and already seeking to make free trade deals with key U.S. markets like Japan and Mexico.