Some U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, say agriculture could suffer by renegotiating a trade bloc agreement with Canada and Mexico. McCaskill says President Trump’s push to make changes to the pact known as NAFTA makes some Republicans and Democrats nervous.
“If we begin moving the needle as it relates to other products, I think the concern is that retaliation would come against agriculture,” says McCaskill. “Both Republicans and Democrats that are from states where agriculture is the foundation of our economies want to make sure that while we’re trying to get more jobs in America, we don’t do harm to America’s agricultural economy.”
Canada is Missouri agriculture’s leading trade market and Mexico is second.
“Mexico is looking to Brazil to see if they can get their input costs down and get their margins closer so that the prices are closer to ours because the Mexican government is under political pressure to not do business with the United States,” she says.
McCaskill says she has no problem if Trump believes he can get a better deal but – in her words – it doesn’t do any good to increase the price of Canadian steel if Canada is going to put tariffs on U.S. corn.
Trump calls NAFTA a defective agreement and the worst trade deal maybe ever.
Contributed by Julie Harker of Brownfield Ag News