USTR Lighthizer releases NAFTA outline

The Trump Administration released its outline for the NAFTA renegotiation late yesterday.  US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the new NAFTA must continue to break down barriers to American exports. He says that also means the elimination of unfair subsidies and other market-distorting practices.  Lighthizer says under the new objectives, an updated NAFTA will give farmers, ranchers, and others new opportunities to grow exports, but also promote a market system that functions more efficiently, leading to reciprocal and balanced trade among all parties.

During testimony to the Trade Representative’s Office last month, National Corn Growers first vice president Kevin Skunes said free trade has benefited American farmers and called NAFTA extremely valuable.

“Trade has been a central driver of growth of the U.S. agriculture economy.  I cannot stress enough how important export markets are to our ability to stay in business.”

House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conway of Texas applauded the administration’s NAFTA Plan.  Conaway says the objectives for renegotiating NAFTA demonstrate a commitment to protecting existing market access while outlining several ways to level the playing field.  Conaway says he and others will work closely with the administration to achieve the best possible deal for American agriculture.

Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says NAFTA has helped ag exports in her state grow substantially.

Stabenow does have concerns about the limited access U.S. dairy has to Canada under the current agreement, and price disparities for growers trying to sell into Mexico.

Stabenow says she hopes existing markets will be enhanced under any future negotiations.


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