Trump Gives Roberts Rain Check On Talking NAFTA

Nov 29, 2017

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R.-Kansas
Credit U.S. Senate

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump asked Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts for a rain check when Roberts raised the agriculture industry’s concerns over NAFTA renegotiations.

Roberts told Politico that he wants to work with Trump to achieve what the president is hoping to achieve in NAFTA talks but that he also thinks it’s important that Trump knows that starting a clock on NAFTA is not the answer, referencing a strategy Trump has alluded to in which Canada and Mexico would be notified of the U.S.’s intent to withdrawal from the deal, in an attempt to force the two countries to make concessions before the six-month withdrawal window closed.

Roberts said it’s important that the agriculture community unite and send a message about what withdrawal from NAFTA means in terms of “lost jobs and lost opportunity,” especially given the current state of the farm economy.

Roberts said the fight for NAFTA’s survival will also depend on ag getting through to Trump’s closest advisers.