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Ag Coalition Formed to Support NAFTA

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A new coalition of agriculture groups is focusing on the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement. More than 30 organizations across the agriculture sector announced the formation of Americans for Farmers and Families, noting that food and agriculture supports 43 million U.S. jobs and depends on trade with Canada and Mexico. The group was formed to “ensure” President Trump and Congressional leaders understand the “importance of preserving and modernizing” NAFTA to America’s agricultural economy. As part of the effort, the coalition will be launching an educational campaign to highlight the positive impact of NAFTA and lay the groundwork for an updated trade agreement that “preserves America’s strong economic standing for decades to come.” Coalition members include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and many various commodity groups.

The need for such a group was seen this week as President Donald Trump said again he “may” terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying such a move would yield the “best deal” in renegotiations. The president says many people “are going to be unhappy,” if he terminates the agreement, but counters that they “don’t realize how good it would be” if he did. But, just last week Trump said he would be “a little bit flexible” on the withdrawal threat.

Agriculture and the auto industry are pressing the administration to not withdraw from the agreement. The auto industry is even suggesting Trump back away from some of his demands. The comments from Trump come as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the president now understands the benefits of NAFTA for agriculture. However, Perdue warns the president’s view on trade should not be confused with a softer approach to the negotiations.

Source: NAFB News Service