On August 16, renegotiation talks for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) started in Washington, D.C. Established in 1994, NAFTA is a free-trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Throughout his campaign, President Trump expressed his distaste for NAFTA and vowed to abolish it. Since being elected, he has changed his mind-set to renegotiation rather than termination.
Many agricultural industries have fared well from NAFTA. However, some industries, such as the specialty crop industry, have not. Due to Mexican imports, U.S. specialty crop growers are finding it hard to compete. They are hoping that renegotiations will bring some solutions.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is well aware that some industries have struggled due to NAFTA, but he hopes that through renegotiations all industries can thrive. “I think the main mantra from agriculture is do no harm,” he said.
Perdue added it will be a difficult task to navigate through the complexities of the U.S. specialty crop industry with regard to NAFTA. “It’s difficult when you have a free trade agreement how to get around some of those things, and we want to do everything we can to find different markets to export fruit to — whether it’s Canada or other places,” Perdue said.
Hear his interview with AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor:
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