The Trump administration decided to pursue renegotiation over withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“There are compelling reasons to update and reform NAFTA from agriculture’s perspective, including improvements on biotechnology, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and geographic indicators. As you know, overall, NAFTA has been overwhelmingly beneficial for farmers, ranchers and associated businesses all across the United States, Canada and Mexico for decades. Walking away from those gains would have been a severe blow to the agricultural sector and we appreciate the path that will allow for reform and enhancement, rather than abandonment of past achievements,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president in a letter to President Trump. “The NAFTA modernization effort should recognize and build upon the strong gains achieved by U.S. agriculture through tariff elimination, harmonization — or recognition of equivalency — of numerous regulatory issues, and development of integrated supply chains that have arisen due to the agreement. With NAFTA, U.S. farmers and ranchers across the nation have benefited from an increase in annual exports to Mexico and Canada, which have gone from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38 billion in 2016. We strongly caution against any actions that would lead to a re-imposition of tariffs or other barriers to agricultural trade with our NAFTA partners.”