Some movement on NAFTA

The Trump administration has officially notified Congress that it plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

A letter from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to congressional leaders says the administration wants NAFTA to be “modernized.”

Commenting earlier this week at a news conference in Nebraska, the president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, said it is time to get moving on NAFTA.

“Let’s get the negotiations started,” Sleight said. “I think the U.S. wants to get it done by the end of the year. Mexico certainly wants to get it done by the end of the year and Canada has indicated similar things. So I think getting the thing started is probably the biggest challenge—and then moving on from there quickly and resolutely.”

But Sleight said from a feed grains perspective, they are not looking for big changes to NAFTA. And John Doggett, head of public policy for the National Corn Growers Association, agreed.  He said NAFTA has worked well for corn growers.

“This is something the corn industry in particular is going to very, very involved in,” Doggett said. “To make sure that we keep the good parts of NAFTA—and let’s not fix what ain’t broke.”

The U.S. can start renegotiating the agreement 90 days from the notification to Congress.

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