Background

Staying up to date on trade issues, specifically issues affecting the agriculture industry, is a continuous job for the staff at Missouri Farm Bureau, but it is one that is carried out with the utmost care.  Agriculture is a major component to foreign trade. Therefore, Missouri Farm Bureau works to communicate current trade issues with its members and all Missourians.  Missouri Farm Bureau members can receive trade updates in the weekly production of Capitol Connection. Farm Bureau works for a greater access to global markets through new trade agreements and enforcement of existing trade commitments.

The Trump Administration has committed to tackling trade issues; however, the future is uncertain. There are currently threats of tariffs from Canada, Mexico and even the European Union; some tariffs have already been implemented.  The outcome of these trade conditions could be detrimental to American agriculture, but the Trump Administration and many other individuals are working continuously to find a solution that will not be harmful to agriculture.

NAFTA

Background

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has removed barriers to agricultural trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico since its implementation in 1994. Complications with this trade agreement in recent months have caused a rift in American agricultural exports to these countries.

NAFTA has always been a trade agreement that establishes free-trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico.  It also requires that food safety standards be scientifically based, nondiscriminatory and transparent. A dispute settlement system is included in the agreement, including mechanisms for resolving countervailing and anti-dumping duty issues.

Status

Mexico has announced plans to advance to “phase two” of their retaliatory trade efforts by planning to place tariffs on U.S. corn, soybeans and other agricultural imports. However, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall announced that he has heard a word that a resolution with Mexico could be on the rise soon. Tensions have risen over Canada’s dairy programs, but discussions are ongoing.

Missouri Farm Bureau Policy

We encourage the United States Department of Agriculture and Congress to make every effort to increase exports of agricultural commodities.

We believe the U.S. government should continue to closely monitor the enforcement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its effect on U.S. agriculture. We oppose changes to NAFTA which would relax existing commitments made by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Trade with China

Background

The situation regarding trade with China appears to be very fluid for the time being.  Threats of tariffs are coming from both sides of the trade deals.  The implementation of these tariffs is a result of an ongoing dispute about intellectual property. China has released a list of retaliatory tariffs in response to the dispute.

Status

The Trump administration has announced plans to implement tariffs equaling hundreds of billions of dollars. China has in turn threatened to carry out tariffs on imports of U.S. soybeans, cotton, corn, beef, sorghum, and other agricultural products.

Missouri Farm Bureau Policy

We encourage the United States Department of Agriculture and Congress to make every effort to increase exports of agricultural commodities.

China should adhere to the rules set by the WTO and should be closely monitored to ensure agricultural trade commitments are upheld.