In this file:
· NAFTA is good for us all
· What NAFTA Does
· Perdue “misspoke a little” about NAFTA contingency
NAFTA is good for us all
BY Mike Jaspers, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture
via KTIC (NE) - November 14, 2017
PIERRE — As the South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, I have had opportunities to expand my knowledge of agriculture on a global scale to help further South Dakota’s agricultural opportunities. A few weeks ago, I had one of these opportunities. I attended the Tri-National Agricultural Accord meeting in Denver, Colorado with many of my fellow secretaries of agriculture from states across the United States, as well as agriculture secretaries and ministers from Mexico and Canada. This meeting takes place every year, hosted by one of the three North American countries. I believe, this year especially, this conference was an important opportunity for agriculture officials from these countries to meet and discuss the impact trade has among our three countries.
International trade among the United States, Mexico and Canada is facilitated by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Originally negotiated in the early 1990s, NAFTA resulted in more opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers to sell their products to consumers across the continent. Since NAFTA was signed, U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico have grown from less than $9 billion to $38 billion, a more than four-fold increase. This has meant money in the pockets of U.S. producers—money that they are able to use to support businesses in towns large and small across the country, bolstering the rural economy.
Mexico and Canada are our top two trading partners here in South Dakota. Together, consumers in those two countries buy 62 percent of all the products we export to foreign countries. Many of these products are agricultural products such as soybeans, corn, beef and pork.
What NAFTA Does
Welcome to the continental shop floor
By Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
November 13, 2017
President Donald Trump has a thing about NAFTA. He doesn’t seem to know what’s in it — President Trump’s many public statements on the trade accord have not identified any substantive provision to which he objects — but he is sure that he hates it, that it is, in his tediously hyperbolic assessment, the “worst deal ever made.”
He has instructed his administration to renegotiate NAFTA, and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has set about doing so incompetently, making absurd demands of Canada and Mexico to which they could not consent even if they were inclined to, inasmuch as those demands would put those countries in violation of their legal obligations as members of the World Trade Organization. The Trump administration has demanded the elimination of NAFTA’s dispute-resolution mechanism — i.e., NAFTA’s institutional raison d’être — and Ross, who apparently believes that what U.S. investors and business managers really need is a little more suspense, has put forward a truly bonkers proposal to renegotiate NAFTA every five years, putting North American trade — that’s $3.3 billion a day in commerce and 14 million American jobs — in a constant state of regime uncertainty. The administration also wants to raise the required minimum percentage of North American components for NAFTA-traded automobiles. NAFTA already imposes the highest domestic-origin floor in the world...
Perdue “misspoke a little” about NAFTA contingency
By Julie Harker, Brownfield
November 13, 2017
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’s optimistic there WILL be a renegotiated NAFTA that will be good for agriculture.
Perdue told farmer broadcasters at their annual convention last week that he “misspoke” a little, the day before, when he said the USDA is working on a contingency plan if President Trump pulls the U.S. out of NAFTA, which Trump has threatened to do, “I’m kind of a Boy Scout. I want to be prepared. And, obviously, I’ve told you before I think we’ll have a successful NAFTA negotiation. But, I’m the kind of guy that likes plan B.”
Perdue it would hurt agriculture to no longer be a part of the deal with Canada and Mexico, “We all know, in this room, that if NAFTA was not successful then it’s going to be pretty damaging to our commodity, already low commodity prices. So, I like to be prepared and that was my thinking out loud.”
Perdue says he thinks...