Survey: Producers Favor NAFTA Renegotiation

Published online: Jun 07, 2017 Articles Chuck Abbott
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U.S. farmers and ranchers, who voted overwhelmingly for President Trump last fall, solidly support renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a Purdue University survey of producers, despite farm groups’ fears of a disruption in trade. The monthly Ag Economy Barometer said 83 percent of respondents favored renegotiation and 61 percent believed the revised pact will benefit U.S. farmers.

Producers gave a similar positive response—63 percent—when asked how renegotiation would affect the U.S. economy overall.

“However, the single most-common response to this question from survey respondents (25 percent) was an expectation that the outcome from renegotiating NAFTA would be neither favorable nor unfavorable, providing a rating of five on the nine-point scale,” report the Purdue economists overseeing the Ag Barometer.

It was the first time that Purdue asked producers about NAFTA. In earlier surveys, 93 percent of producers said exports were important to the agricultural economy, and 80 percent said they were important to their own farms. The USDA says exports provide 20 cents of each $1 of farm income. Trump vowed during the campaign to rewrite NAFTA or to abandon the 1994 trade agreement.

Talks among Canada, Mexico and the U.S. could begin as early as mid-August. The U.S.’s two next-door neighbors account for one-third of U.S. food and agriculture trade because they are top customers for U.S. exports—Canada is No. 2 and Mexico is No. 3 globally—and the top two suppliers of U.S. food and ag imports.

 

Source: Successful Farming