In this file:


·         NPPC: NAFTA Modernization Must Not Disrupt Pork Exports

·         NFU: Reopening of NAFTA Provides Trump Administration With Chance to Right the U.S. Trade Agenda

·         AFBF: Ag Groups Concerned About NAFTA Renegotiations

·         USCA Comments on NAFTA Renegotiation

·         Corn Growers Say Remember Ag During NAFTA Modernization


·         NCBA Joins Canadian, Mexican Partners in Presidential Letter: “Don’t Jeopardize Our Success Under NAFTA”



NAFTA Modernization Must Not Disrupt Pork Exports


Source: NPPC

May 18, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2017 – Following today’s notification by the Trump administration to Congress that it intends to modernize the trade agreement among the United States, Canada and Mexico, the National Pork Producers Council urged the president to make sure that tariffs remain at zero for pork traded in North America.


The White House today officially notified the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, which have jurisdiction over trade, that the administration will update the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The notification begins a 90-day period in which Trump trade officials must consult with Congress on the objectives of the trade talks; 30 days prior to negotiations starting, the administration must make public a “detailed and comprehensive summary of the specific objectives” for a new agreement.


NPPC committed to work with the administration to preserve tariff-free market access for U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico, which last year were almost $799 million and nearly $1.4 billion, respectively.


“Canada and Mexico are top pork export markets. We absolutely must not have any disruptions in exports to our No. 2 (Mexico) and No. 4 (Canada) markets,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill.


Since NAFTA went into effect Jan. 1, 1994, U.S. trade north and south of the borders has more than tripled, growing more rapidly than U.S. trade with the rest of the world. Canada and Mexico are the two largest destinations for U.S. goods and services, accounting for more than one-third of total U.S. exports, adding $80 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 3 million American jobs, according to data from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In fact, U.S. manufacturing exports to Canada and Mexico have increased nearly 260 percent over the past 23 years, and U.S. farm exports to the countries have grown by more than 150 percent.


Under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which Congress approved in June 2015 and which covers trade agreements reached before July 1, 2018, the administration is required to give lawmakers 90-days’ notice prior to entering talks on a trade deal that would require changes in U.S. law needed to comply with the agreement. TPA also requires Congress to consider agreements it receives within a specified time and to vote for or against them without amendments.


“U.S. pork trade with Canada and Mexico has been very robust, and we need to maintain and even improve that trade,” Maschhoff said. “We will work with the Trump administration to do that as it reviews the existing trade deal with our North American neighbors.”


[Click here to read the administration’s notification letter to Congress:]


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NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 60,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit



 Reopening of NAFTA Provides Trump Administration With Chance to Right the U.S. Trade Agenda


Source: National Farmers Union (NFU)

May 18, 2017


WASHINGTON – Initiating an official renegotiation process of past, failed trade deals, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today formally notified Congress of the Trump Administration’s intentions to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


The renegotiation provides the administration with a unique opportunity to reset the U.S. trade agenda, according to National Farmers Union (NFU).


“For far too long, our nation has stuck to a free trade agenda that has led to a massive $500 billion annual trade deficit, lost jobs, and lowered wages in rural communities across the U.S.,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “With this renegotiation of NAFTA, the Trump Administration has the opportunity to reset that agenda by instituting a new, fair trade framework that works for family farmers, ranchers, and rural residents. NFU urges them to do so in a fashion that does not upset the positive trade relations the U.S. agriculture community relies upon.”


Over the past several decades, the United States has entered into free trade agreements with 20 countries, maintaining a consistent trade agreement framework that has advanced the interests of multinational corporations at the expense of family farmers, ranchers, and rural workers. This free trade framework began with the U.S. entering into NAFTA in 1994.


“NAFTA installed, and has since cemented, a set of trade parameters that have benefitted corporate America and damaged rural American communities and economies,” said Johnson.


Johnson noted that NAFTA was the first U.S. trade agreement to include the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration procedure, which allows foreign companies to sue governments over laws that undermine their profits. These suits go before foreign tribunals, and their results ultimately dictate U.S. laws. 


“Provisions like ISDS tip the scales, consolidating money and power into the hands of multinational corporations. They need to be eliminated to support vibrant family farm operations and rural communities,” he noted.


In his NAFTA negotiations, the president also has the opportunity to restore other facets of U.S. sovereignty, like the ability to implement Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). Just two years ago, a challenge from our NAFTA trading partners, Canada and Mexico, ultimately convinced Congress to repeal COOL, which was supported by more than 90 percent of American consumers.


“We can not allow the interests of foreign governments and companies to dictate our laws here at home,” said Johnson. “The COOL repeal is the perfect example of just how much of our sovereignty we’ve traded away in decades of trade deals. This issue must be addressed in the NAFTA renegotiation. Any provisions keeping the U.S. from instituting COOL or any other commonsense law need to be struck from all of our trade agreements.”


In January 2017, NFU partnered with five other farm and rural groups to issue a set of principles for North American trade policy, titled “Principles of a new U.S. trade policy for North American agriculture.” The recommendations advocate for balanced trade that supports fair and sustainable rural economies and food supplies, and offer the administration a starting point for their upcoming NAFTA renegotiation.


“The President has a tremendous opportunity to institute a fair trade framework that balances trade and benefits the livelihoods of all Americans,” said Johnson. “It is important that he gets this done in a manner that preserves and expands American agriculture’s trade relationships with the rest of the world, which are vital to the success of farmers and ranchers here at home.”




To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quote, visit our website at


About NFU

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.



Ag Groups Concerned About NAFTA Renegotiations


By Hoosier Ag Today

May 18, 2017


The Trump administration has officially notified Congress it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Agricultural groups have reacted to the news with caution...


... American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement: “The American Farm Bureau looks forward to working with the administration, Congress, other agricultural groups, and officials in Canada and Mexico to protect these important markets while also addressing issues that have limited the trade potential of U.S. farmers and ranchers. We remain committed to the goal of a positive, market-expanding and modernized NAFTA. Achieving this objective starts with ensuring the negotiations protect U.S. agriculture’s benefits under the current trade agreement"...





USCA Comments on NAFTA Renegotiation


Source: United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA)

May 19, 2017 


(WASHINGTON) – Today, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of the Administration’s intent to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Trade Committee Chairman Leo McDonnell issued the following statement:   


“Since the signing of NAFTA, U.S. cattle producers have experienced distorted and unfair trading practices with both Canada and Mexico. The current trade disparities have resulted in economic harm over the years to cow-calf producers, backgrounders and feedlot operators.”


“This notice triggers a 90-day consultation period in which the Administration, Congress and members of the business community can begin discussing how to best modernize the existing agreement and address the challenges faced by America’s farmers and ranchers in an increasingly global marketplace.”


“President Trump campaigned on the promise of ensuring fair trade deals for all; today marks an important opportunity to address the unfair treatment of cattle and beef in NAFTA. Specifically, we hope that President Trump will take this chance to strike any provisions that may prevent the reestablishment of a Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) program for U.S. beef products.”


“USCA looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Administration to ensure that cattle and beef products are traded freely and fairly under an improved and modernized NAFTA.”




Established in March 2007, USCA is committed to enhancing and expanding the cattle industry’s voice on Capitol Hill.  USCA has a full-time presence in Washington, giving cattle producers across the country a strong influence on policy development.  For more information go to



Corn Growers Say Remember Ag During NAFTA Modernization


BY NCGA News Release

via KTIC (NE) - May 18, 2017


Today (Thursday) 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...





NCBA Joins Canadian, Mexican Partners in Presidential Letter: “Don’t Jeopardize Our Success Under NAFTA”


Tri-State Livestock News

May 18, 2017


WASHINGTON (May 18, 2017) — The National Cattlemen's Beef Association today joined its cattle-industry partners in Canada and Mexico in sending a joint letter to the presidents of those two nations and to President Trump, urging the three leaders to not "jeopardize the success we have all enjoyed as partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement."


The letter to President Trump, President Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico was signed by NCBA President Craig Uden, Dan Darling, president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, and Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas.


"Recent statements about the possible dissolution of NAFTA or potential renegotiation of NAFTA are deeply concerning to us because of the unnecessary risk it places on our producers," the letter states. "While there may be general agreement among the countries to improve some parts of the NAFTA trade framework, we urge you to recognize that the terms of the agreement affecting cattle producers are strongly supported as they currently exist and should not be altered."


The groups also urged Presidents Trump, Trudeau, and Nieto to "reject efforts to use NAFTA as a platform to resurrect failed policies, especially the misguided mandatory country-of-origin labeling policy that was the law of the United States for over seven years."


"MCOOL failed to deliver its proponents' promise to increase consumer demand or consumer confidence," the groups said...


more, including the letter