American Farm Bureau Releases Its Priorities Regarding NAFTA Renegotiations, Presented to USTR
Oklahoma Farm Report
14 Jun 2017
American Farm Bureau Releases Its Priorities Regarding NAFTA Renegotiations, Presented to USTR On Wednesday, the American Farm Bureau Federation released a letter penned by the organization's Executive Director of Public Policy, Dale Moore, to Daniel Watson, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America, outlining AFBF's priorities pertaining to the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Below, you can read the letter in its entirety.
June 12, 2017
Mr. Daniel Watson
Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative
for North America
600 17th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20508
Re: Docket No. 2017-10603, Comments on Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico
Dear Mr. Watson:
The American Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau) offers the following comments on the negotiating objectives for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Farm Bureau uniquely represents all farmers and ranchers, as well as our our diverse membership of almost 6 million families. Our policies are set by our grassroots members, who produce the full breadth of crops and livestock raised in the United States.
Trade agreements between the United States and other nations have significantly contributed to the decades-long positive growth in trade by U.S. agriculture. Between 2003 and 2016, U.S. agricultural exports to countries with which we have trade agreements increased more than 136 percent-from $24.1 billion to $57.1 billion.
Trade is critical to the livelihood of the U.S. agricultural sector because it spurs economic growth for our farmers and ranchers and their rural communities. Just as critical, agriculture supports jobs in the food and agricultural industries and beyond. The fact is 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States and over 20 percent of U.S. farm income is based on exports. Expanding opportunities for U.S. crop and livestock producers to access international markets will boost farm income in the United States. In addition, preserving existing access to markets around the world, is vital to improving the current downturn in farm income levels. Agriculture’s access to foreign markets amounted to $134 billion in 2016. Imports, critical for certain products, especially out of season produce, totaled $112 billion in 2016.
Existing trade agreements have proven successful in lowering tariffs and tearing down non-tariff trade barriers that hinder U.S. farmers’ and ranchers’ competitiveness and prevent us from taking advantage of consumer demand for high-quality U.S. food and agricultural products throughout the world. For consumers, trade agreements provide access to new varieties of food products and off-season supplies of fresh produce.
One of the most talked about trade agreements, the North America Free Trade Agreement...