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Iowa Soybean Association fears NAFTA withdrawal

AUDIO: Bill Shipley, Iowa Soybean Association

Trade officials will continue discussions regarding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Canada. An Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) staffer urges officials to “Do No Harm” to agriculture while modernizing the agreement.

ISA president Bill Shipley says the Association asks President Trump to “Do No Harm” to an agreement important to Iowa farmers and all of agriculture.

“We would like to see NAFTA continue,” Shipley said. “It has been very good for agriculture. I’m sure there are some tweaks that need to be made to NAFTA, and they need to deal with those things. But, we do not want it to go away.”

Data compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled since the implementation of NAFTA. Shipley attests to the importance of Canada and Mexico. He worries about the implications a withdrawal from NAFTA would have on agriculture.

“Canada and Mexico are very big importers of our products,” Shipley said. “Our prices, I’m sure, would go down. How far? Nobody knows. Somebody made the comment that we need to prepare for that. Well, I need to talk to my banker if we’re going to prepare for that. I think it would be devastating.”

Shipley adds: “any market, no matter how big or small, is beneficial to United States agriculture.”