Why farmers are anxious about NAFTA
“I HAVE always told you that I will either renegotiate or terminate NAFTA,” said President Donald Trump at a recent rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He had been about to pull out of the North American Free-Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, he explained. But then he got a nice call from Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, and another from the president (“good guy”) of Mexico asking him to negotiate: “and I am always willing to negotiate.” Even so, Mr Trump insisted, NAFTA has been very unfair to the United States, so he will renegotiate successfully—or pull out. The audience applauded, but rather hesitantly.
Of America’s top ten farm states by cash receipts from production, six are in the Midwest, and Iowa ranks second, after only California. Farmers have benefited from NAFTA more than other industries, which is why they are now fighting hard against messing about with the treaty. In 1993 America exported corn, soyabeans and other farm products worth $8.9bn to…Continue reading