CATCH THE BUZZ – NAFTA Negotiations Worrying Local US Farmers.

Farmers are growing more and more anxious with the negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement. Several Wisconsin farmers’ organizations have joined a new coalition in support of keeping the NAFTA deal alive. 

Local farmers may suffer if NAFTA negotiations come undone. Many farmers depend on NAFTA to export their goods to other countries. Darin von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin’s Farmers Association: “Ninety percent of what we produce in Wisconsin, leaves the state. About 50 percent of that goes into Canada.” 

The new coalition to help lobby Congress and President Trump consists of thirty state and national organizations, including the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers and Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Associations.  

According to a wxow.com article, the bulk of Wisconsin’s dairy and produce is exported to Canada and Mexico, who are also under the NAFTA agreement. In 2016, Wisconsin exported about $3.4 billion worth of agricultural products to 150 different countries. If NAFTA were to fall through, farmers would have to find other ways of exporting those goods at a fair price.

Meanwhile….

CPMA releases statement on NAFTA negotiations

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) said they are satisfied with the progress made during Round 6 of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which concluded today in Montreal. CPMA applauds Canadian negotiators on their efforts to ensure that the renewed NAFTA protects industry supply chains across the continent, supports growth, and adheres to principles of free and fair trade.

In particular, CPMA said they are optimistic about the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Chapter as well as the biotechnology provisions in the Agriculture Chapter and hopes these will build off of the recent success of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Given how developed all three NAFTA nations are, these negotiations provide a unique opportunity to establish a new world-class standard in trade agreements for both of these areas.        

“We have been working closely with Canadian negotiators and industry partners throughout Round 6 and remain committed to achieving a win-win-win outcome for all three countries,” said CPMA President Ron Lemaire. “As we prepare for Round 7 in Mexico, CPMA will continue to support the negotiating process to help achieve the best outcome for the fresh produce industry, especially on key issues such as the seasonal trade remedy proposal, dispute settlement, and the sunset clause.”

CPMA will continue to share information with members as it becomes publicly available.