Thatcher: Agriculture needs to push for NAFTA

Veteran American Farm Bureau Federation lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher says agriculture needs to push the Trump administration harder for assurances about the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Thatcher tells Brownfield President Trump didn’t tell farmers what they wanted to hear about the 25-year-old trade deal.

“We would have loved if he’d have stood up and said, ‘I’m not going to back out of NAFTA.’  That would have put a lot of people’s minds at ease,” Thatcher told Brownfield Ag News, referring to the president’s speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention Monday.  “He did not, and I think the Press has pushed him on ‘will you say that?’ and he wasn’t quite willing to say it yet, so have a lot to do to continue to push that.”

Thatcher says people in Washington have accused the farm community of being too loud about the trade issue, but Thatcher says they need to be even louder.

“If we’re not really loud about NAFTA we’ll have the same thing happen as him pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Thatcher.  “Everybody else on that trade agreement went along and kept working at it except us, and trade is just too important to agriculture to not continue to really raise our voices.”

Thatcher retires at the end of this month from her American Farm Bureau lobbying position after 31 years on the job.

AUDIO: Mary Kay Thatcher (4 min. MP3)

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