Hand in U.S. flag and hand in Mexican flag reaching out for handshake. Kagenmi/ThinkstockPhotos

Reaction to U.S. reaching trade deal with Mexico

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says Trump is delivering on promise to renegotiate NAFTA.

President Trump announced this morning that a trade deal has been reached with Mexico.

Here’s what Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had to say about the deal:

“President Trump is delivering on his promise to renegotiate the old, outdated North American Free Trade Agreement, making good on his pledge to strike the best deals possible for all of our economic sectors, including agriculture. The president has achieved important improvements in the agreement to enable our agricultural producers to be treated more fairly. This breakthrough demonstrates that the president’s common-sense strategy of holding trading partners accountable will produce results. President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer, our U.S. Trade Representative, are to be congratulated for their determination, vision, and leadership.

“The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to keep up with 21st Century innovations. And we mutually pledge to work together with Mexico to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency, and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products. 

“This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers. 

“We now hope that Canada will see the need to settle all of the outstanding issues between our two nations as well, and restore us to a true North American Free Trade Agreement.” 

The American Soybean Association said the news that the U.S. and Mexico have reached an “understanding” regarding sensitive bilateral issues is exciting news for soybean growers. 

“We need NAFTA and new free trade agreements to build and ensure the certainty of our markets for soy and livestock product exports,” said ASA President John Heisdorffer, a soy grower from Keota, Iowa. “Approval of NAFTA would be a big step in the right direction for us, with the uncertainty and market loss resulting from China’s tariff on U.S. soybeans. We are hopeful that a new NAFTA agreement will set the tone for more trade agreements to come.” 

“Today’s movement on NAFTA renegotiations is a positive step towards putting in place a trade deal that rewrites the current rules of international trade to put family farmers and ranchers on an even playing field with multinational corporations,” said Rob Larew, NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. “While this is an important step, there is still much work to be done on the part of U.S. negotiators to secure balanced trade and renewed sovereignty for American agriculture.”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said Farm Bureau is excited about the agreement.

“Based on the gains both sides have seen with NAFTA, we expect this new ‘U.S.-Mexico Preliminary Agreement in Principle’ to build on that success for our farmers and ranchers,” Duvall said. “No trade deal is perfect, however. There is room for improvement, especially in provisions that affect U.S. fruit and vegetable growers, and we will continue to call for a resolution to those issues and a final deal that works for all of agriculture.” 

“I thank President Trump for his work to improve trade relations with one of our top trading partners,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “I am eager to learn more of the details of the new U.S.-Mexico trade deal. The value of U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico has increased by 305% since NAFTA entered into force; farmers and ranchers need to be able to rely on that important market. I’m hopeful the Administration will move quickly on securing a beneficial trade deal with Canada in the coming days.”

"Mexico is extremely important to every sector we represent. Yet, so too is Canada, our second largest ethanol market and a top ten corn market,” said U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight.  “We hope the agreement today opens the door for Canada's reengagement, and we continue to oppose withdrawal from the existing NAFTA under any circumstances except the adoption of a new, beneficial and trilateral pact. 

Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst had this to say: “Missouri farmers, and particularly Missouri corn and pork producers, received very good news today as the Trump Administration announced a successful conclusion to trade negotiations with Mexico. Although we are happy that progress is being made, there is still much work to do to restore and open foreign markets to Missouri farmers.  We look forward to further successful agreements with Canada, China and other countries.”

Source: USDA, Missouri Farm Bureau, ASA, NFU, U.S. Grains Council, Office of Sen. Pat Roberts, AFBF

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