Jan 9, 2018

NAFTA Talks Continue

By: Rhonda Brooks

Since his days on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump has voiced little support for keeping the U.S. involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If anything, Trump’s lukewarm support for NAFTA has cooled even more, despite five rounds of negotiations between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

That’s bad news for U.S. farmers, according to Jackson Takach, a Farmer Mac economist. “Without NAFTA, we’re looking at the 1980s,” Takach says. “NAFTA is a big part of our trade package. NAFTA delivers a lot of ag export markets, and without it, I think we’re going to see a pretty significant decline in sales and revenues for our farmers.”

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue says he doesn’t believe President Trump will walk away from NAFTA, but notes that just in case the agency is making “contingency plans” if the trade agreement is scrapped.

The sixth round of discussions will take place Jan. 23 to 28 in Montreal. The three countries have agreed to host joint negotiations through March.

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