As the Trump administration heads to the table for North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) renegotiations, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pushing a “no harm” position regarding market access into Canada and Mexico for corn exports.
Lesly McNitt, NCGA director of public policy, is monitoring the NAFTA modernization process very closely. “Our primary focus has been on doing no harm ... It’s critical to maintain and even expand on current market access we have in Mexico and Canada,” she said.
Mexico was U.S. corn’s No. 1 export market in 2016 and is tracking to be No. 2 in 2017, according to McNitt. NCGA wants to maintain its strong export position. “Continuing to have duty-free access for corn and corn products is going to be critical,” McNitt explained.
As for NAFTA areas needing possible improvement, McNitt cited sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. She conceded that NAFTA is an aging agreement and the economies of all countries involved have changed since the accord’s inception in 1993, but emphasizes: “If nothing changed, corn farmers would be very happy because we have really benefitted and seen NAFTA as a big success for agriculture and the corn industry.”