WASHINGTON (May 18, 2017) – Today U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of the Trump Administration’s plans to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.
National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock urged Lighthizer to remember the interests of U.S. agriculture as they begin modernizing the agreement.
“The Trump Administration understands that NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture,” said Spurlock.
“Exports are one pillar of a strong farm economy, accounting for 31 percent of farmer income. Nowhere is the importance of trade stronger than right here in North America. Since NAFTA was implemented, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled and quintupled, respectively. We export billions of dollars of corn and corn products to these countries each year.
“The National Corn Growers Association will work closely with the Trump Administration and Congress to build on the successful trade relationship we have with Canada and Mexico. We want to ensure any updates to NAFTA maintain or increase opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers.”
Today’s announcement means trilateral negotiations could begin as early as August 16. USTR will publish goals for the negotiations at least 30 days prior to negotiations.
Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents more than 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 49 affiliated state organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for corn growers. For more information, visit www.ncga.com.