On Thursday, the Trump Administration formally informed Congress it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Below is a statement from Chip Councell, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and a farmer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland:
“NAFTA is the most critical free trade agreement on the books for U.S. grain farmers, providing open access to countries that are among our top corn, sorghum and barley export markets as well as significant and growing markets for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and meat products made using grain. This agreement has served our industry extremely well over the past 20 years, allowing us and our customers there to integrate operations and build deep relationships that both sides value.
“Our top priority in the modernization of NAFTA is to maintain this market access and keep in place what we and our customers have built. For instance, all corn products currently go into Mexico and Canada duty-free, with sales last marketing year of $2.7 billion in commodity corn alone. That demand is an essential part of ensuring farmers can continue to farm in this economy.
“We look forward to working with the Trump Administration, Congress and our partners in Canada and Mexico as this process progresses to ensure our neighbors remain our top customers.”