The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) is asking policymakers to protect the good in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as renegotiations begin.
“The ag industry has benefitted both North and South with our trading partners,” said Chandler Goule, CEO of NAWG. “Especially the wheat industry, before NAFTA, we exported zero bushels of wheat to Mexico.”
NAWG wants access to the important Canadian and Mexico markets in ag to be a priority for policymakers. But while the group wants to protect what works, it also recognizes there is room for improvement in the sanitary and phytosanitary sections of NAFTA.
“We’d like to see that chapter [sanitary and phytosanitary] from the Trans-Pacific Partnership adopted in the renegotiation,” Goule said. NAWG wants to see updates to the rules that would modernize sanitary and phytosanitary health and safety standards.
Goule is optimistic the group will reach an agreement, and that NAFTA will stay in place. He added that without access to Canada and Mexico, the ag industry would greatly suffer. “It would be extremely detrimental to wheat [to pull out of NAFTA] because we export 50% of our wheat,” he said. “It would throw the ag sector into a recession.”