As the fifth round of NAFTA talks came to a close Tuesday in Mexico, the agriculture industry tried to convey the damage that would be done to the industry if a trade deal that is helping struggling sectors survive is terminated.
As Pro Trade reports, Russell Boening, president of the Texas Farm Bureau, told a Senate Finance subcommittee at a field hearing in San Antonio that exports were the saving grace that helped offset a sharp drop in farm income.
Boening said due to the current state of the farm economy, a full withdrawal from NAFTA would devastate the entire agricultural community, as well as the nation.
According to Politico, Boening said NAFTA had helped boost US agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico from around $9 billion in 1993 to over $38 billion today. Exports account for a quarter of farmers’ incomes.
And, as Pro Trade reports, a bipartisan group of 18 senators representing agriculture-heavy states are demanding that the Trump administration conduct an economic analysis of the effects that changes to NAFTA might have on the crop and livestock sectors.