Comments sent to the USTR office this week by the American Farm Bureau Federation outline the priorities of farmers and ranchers when it comes to renegotiating NAFTA. AFBF’s Dave Salmonsen says agriculture needs the renegotiation effort to protect current market gains and create new ones. He said the U.S. shipped $8.9 billion in ag products to Mexico and Canada just before NAFTA went in to effect.
“Now in 2016 we exported over $38 billion a year. So, that really shows that getting rid of those barriers which NAFTA has done has had an amazing impact on improving ag trade.”
Salmonsen said other standards that were included in the TPP should also be included in the NAFTA renegotiations to benefit farmers and ranchers.
“The primary one was to make sure all countries were operating under science based risk assessment analysis to food safety standards like we do. Also we want to see included what’s called a rapid response mechanism cut through a lot of the red tape if products are held up a boarders and get a very quick within seven days or less answer to problems and free up shipments.”
Salmonsen also pointed to new rules the U.S. has regarding biotechnology the AFBF would like to see adopted by Mexico and Canada. He added AFBF looks forward to see what the NAFTA renegotiation bring for the prosperity of American agriculture.
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