Corn Growers Want a New NAFTA Deal
America's corn growers are still urging Congress to ratify a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, would replace the 1994 agreement known as NAFTA.
John Linder, a farmer and a member of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association, says in the 20 years since the agreement was signed, trade with Canada has tripled while it has increased five-fold with Mexico – the number one buyer of U.S. corn.
He maintains a modernized trade agreement will expand U.S. competitiveness.
"And it needs to happen, because the benefits of this agreement extend beyond individual farms," he states. "America's food and agricultural sectors account for roughly one-fifth of the country's economic activity, providing over 22 million jobs."
Linder says a sustained period of low commodity prices and multiple severe weather events, especially across the western corn belt, has challenged many farm operations.
But he's confident most farmers are behind Trump's trade war with China if it successfully counters intellectual property theft and trade abuses.
"There is a definite strain that's been placed on us by Mother Nature that probably has taken that pain level a little bit high, but we're supportive of his efforts to go after what is plaguing American businesses," he states.
In May, the Trump administration provided $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers who were hurt by the trade war afloat.