Market News & Headlines >> Farm Groups Applaud NAFTA Redo

Farm groups are generally reacting positively to Sunday’s agreement in principle between the U.S. and Canada to extend the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA), which will now be called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), although they are reserving final judgement until after they see details of the deal.

“NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture, opening markets that since enactment have become vitally important to U.S. corn farmers, and providing certainty to farmers and the rural economy. We applaud USTR for reaching a new agreement and look forward to thoroughly evaluating it to determine if it continues to benefit American agriculture,” said National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp in a statement released on Monday. 

The National Pork Producers Council praised the Trump administration for establishing a free trade agreement that preserves zero-tariff access for U.S. pork to Mexico and Canada, which along with a modernized trade agreement signed with South Korea last week preserves zero-tariff access to three of the top five markets for U.S. pork. 

“The three-way pact with Mexico and Canada, our largest and fourth largest export markets, respectively, and the recently signed agreement with Korea represent welcome momentum during what has been a challenging year,” said Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and a pork producer for Johnstown, Ohio in a statement. 

“We urge Congress to quickly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and we’ll closely monitor this as a key vote for our members, who have demonstrated incredible perseverance as the administration realigns U.S. global trade policy,” Heimerl added. 

The National Milk Producers Federation, (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) noted in a press release that the U.S.-Canada trade agreement included the elimination of Canada’s Class 7 pricing system and creation of some additional market access, two important objectives of the U.S. dairy sector, adding that they looked forward to reviewing the text of the agreement, “in particular the dairy provisions, to better understand the benefits to U.S. agriculture and dairy”. 

From a strategic standpoint, the agreement announced Sunday night will benefit America’s dairy sector because it preserves the overall structure of NAFTA, the dairy groups said.