WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2017 – A total of 133 organizations and companies from the food and agriculture sector, which supports more than 15 million jobs nationally, sent President Donald J. Trump a letter this week expressing their eagerness to work with his Administration to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while preserving and expanding the gains achieved to date.
“U.S. food and agricultural exports have produced a trade surplus for nearly 50 years,” the letter notes. “Consistent growth over this period resulted in over $130 billion worth of exports, which created $423 billion in U.S. economic activity in 2015.” The letter also noted that in the 20 years since NAFTA was implemented, the market integration it fostered helped quadruple the value of U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico.
“With a few key sector exceptions that still require attention, North America intraregional food and agriculture trade is now free of tariff and quota restrictions….,” the letter continues. “Because of these market access gains, the food and agricultural sectors of the North American region have become far more integrated, as is evidenced by rising trade in agricultural products and substantial levels of cross-border investment in the agriculture and food sectors….[W]e look forward to working with your Administration on reducing the non-tariff trade barriers that continue to inhibit our exports to the North American marketplace, as well as to addressing the remaining tariffs impeding access for some U.S. export sectors.”
The complete letter can be read here.
More detailed information and statics on the importance of NAFTA to the U.S. food and agriculture industry, including highlights relevant to specifics sectors, such apples, beef, corn, dairy, food manufacturing, peanuts, pork, rice, soybeans, sugar & sweeteners and wheat, are available by clicking here.
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,050 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA also consists of 29 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and has strategic alliances with Pet Food Institute and North American Export Grain Association.