Director of National Affairs Jordan Dux with the Nebraska Farm Bureau says it appears to be a good deal for United States agriculture.
“So, one of the things we’re continuing to do is obviously still read through what exactly the agreement looks like and from what we can gather I think there’s some positive news in terms of agriculture, the fact that we still will maintain largely free and open access to both Mexico and Canada,” Dux tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Dux says, in general, agriculture benefit from NAFTA with a few exceptions. He says U.S. agriculture wasn’t a main target in the negotiations, except for dairy, which wanted better access to Canadian markets.
“From our standpoint, the biggest win here, honestly, is that the uncertainty that was created is hopefully going to subside and we can kind of move forward with a new free and open trade agreement between the two, our closest allies, and move forward again with the trading relationship we’ve had for a long time that’s benefitted agriculture in a very significant way,” according to Dux.
The agreement with Canada was reached late Sunday evening, beating a self-imposed midnight deadline for the talks. It is expected to be signed within the next two months and be forwarded to Congress for its consideration next year.
Total trade among the United States, Mexico and Canada topped $1.1 million last year.
NAFTA passed Congress in 1994.
Negotiators say the agreement will retain North America as a trading powerhouse, giving Canada and Mexico breaks on auto manufacturing and gaining U.S. dairy greater access to Canadian markets. It provides new intellectual property protections for e-commerce, including pharmaceutical patents. It requires manufacturers use more domestic steel.
Dux says President Donald Trump seems to be fulfilling his promises to a main constituency.
“It’s not a secret that agriculture, rural America, was a big reason why President Trump is in office and as you look at some of the things he had tried to do as it relates to trade it made some farmers very nervous,” Dux says.
Dux says with the agreement with Canada coming on the heels of an agreement with South Korea as well as announced talks with Japan, the administration now can focus on China.
“Because that’s a trading relationship that’s had problems for a long time and it’s something that needs to be concluded. I think producers have been patient, but we want to see the conclusion to some of these things and hopefully we’re starting to see the domino effect move forward here.”