The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has come under attack in the presidential election, but largely, U.S. farmers say it’s been a good deal for them, and they want to keep it that way.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said NAFTA was “the worst trade agreement maybe ever signed maybe anywhere” during the first presidential debate. But the American Farm Bureau Federation says it’s been a big plus for U.S. farmers, with ag exports growing from $9 billion in the 1990s to $39 billion now, in part because of the pact.
According to the Farm Bureau’s economist, Veronica Nigh, the U.S. has a market share of 65% in both Mexico and Canada because of NAFTA, which took effect in 1994.
Dairy farmers also say they are worried that they could get hurt if NAFTA gets renegotiated.
“Mexico is currently our No. 1 dairy trading partner and Canada can be No. 2 or No. 3 and if NAFTA does get torn up and they renegotiate that, itcould have dire consequences for U.S. dairy producers,” Dairy Herd Management editor Jim Dickerell recently told AgDay.