May 30, 2017

NAFTA Is A Landmark Economic Success Story

The Trump Administration has been vocal about its aim to renegotiate NAFTA—a move that has rightfully caused a ripple of concern among farmers and others in agriculture.

This past month we welcomed a Mexican trade delegation to Nebraska and Washington D.C. They participated in roundtable discussions with farmers, the ag industry and Congressional leaders to discuss the importance of NAFTA.

NAFTA or The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States in 1994. This agreement eliminated barriers to trade between these great nations. These reduced trade barriers have led to economic growth. NAFTA is a landmark success story for U.S. agriculture. One only has to look at the hard numbers for proof.

Over the past two decades, U.S. ag exports to Canada and Mexico tripled and quintupled, respectively, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This is significant, given that every $1 in exports of grains and grain products generates an additional $3.23 in business sales across the U.S. The positive economic effects of corn exports benefit not only agriculture, but also wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas production, and the banking and financial industries.

Looking at the impact NAFTA has locally, Mexico is Nebraska’s largest corn market, which provides $287 million into our state’s economy. Nebraska total ag exports to Mexico equates to $891 million and accounts for 34,000 local jobs. The Nebraska Corn Board attended this press conference and has released a statement on the modernization process of NAFTA.

While every agreement can be improved, the market access and tariff benefits U.S. grain farmers have under NAFTA are critical and must be preserved. We hope this week’s trade delegation will lead to positive discussions to maintain and improve our relationship with Mexico: a major partner in American agriculture.

Watch the press conference with Gov. Pete Ricketts.

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