NFU reinforces need for trade agenda reforms through NAFTA
Ahead of a third round of renegotiation talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), National Farmers Union (NFU) reinforced it’s call for a fair trade agreement framework that benefits American family farmers, ranchers and consumers, and restores American sovereignty on farm and food policy.
In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, NFU endorsed a series of trade reform recommendations proposed by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA), of which NFU is a member.
“NAFTA has had significant impacts on family farms and rural communities,” wrote NFU President Roger Johnson. “The U.S. has a trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, despite the fact that agricultural trade has usually been a bright spot in America’s ever-growing trade deficit. Agricultural markets and farms have consolidated since NAFTA was agreed to. We urge you to heed the advice of those advocating for the benefits for all consumers and family farmers, rather than corporate profits.”
Johnson highlighted CPA’s proposed changes to NAFTA, including:
- Reducing bilateral trade imbalances
- Remedies for currency manipulation and misalignment
- Strengthening rules of origin
- Reinstating country-of-origin labeling (COOL)
- Eliminating investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)
- Automaticity of enforcement of the agreement
- Eliminating provisions on domestic procurement
- Improve wages and labor standards
- Compliance with food, product, and highway safety standards
- Sunset NAFTA in 10 years
- Remedies for perishable and cyclical products
- Addressing border adjustable taxes
Johnson added that USTR should address non-tariff barriers that act as hidden tariffs, particularly as it relates to Canada’s restrictions on the sale of U.S. wine.
“As you renegotiate NAFTA, we urge you to act in the best interest of American farmers, ranchers and consumers, and to restore the United States’ sovereignty over farm and food policy. I look forward to working with your administration to reset the nation’s failed trade agenda,” he concluded.