Trade discussions framed differently under Trump Administration

The president of the American Foreign Service Association says trade discussions are being framed differently under the Trump Administration.

Ambassador Barbara Stephenson tells Brownfield there have been challenges resulting from President Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership in favor of bilateral trade agreements and outspoken criticism of current deals like NAFTA.

“Well there’s been a real sea change in the conversation in our country about trade.  And it really went largely toxic as people said maybe these trade deals weren’t such a good idea.”

She says farmers recognize the importance of trade and it’s her job to expand markets for American agricultural products regardless of political rhetoric.

“Can you imagine what would happen to corn and soybean farmers if we lost access to markets like Mexico and China?  So we have to talk about this in a new way to reframe the issue together because things really did take a significant turn.”


Among its members, the American Foreign Service Association represents the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce.

Brownfield interviewed Stephenson during the last day of Minnesota Farmfest.



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