AUDIO: Will Rogers, Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association
Americans for Farmers and Families (AFF), a coalition of growers, producers, suppliers, transporters, retailers and consumers, works to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INED) joined Americans for Farmers & Families efforts. Will Rogers serves as government affairs for the Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association. Rogers says INED works with AFF to protect and enhance trade opportunities.
“The first thing is to make sure we protect NAFTA, and continue to have a robust import/export opportunity for trade with Canada and Mexico. President Trump campaigned on renegotiating NAFTA and putting a better deal in place. He said he is in favor of doing reform to NAFTA, but not getting rid of it. That’s what we want to happen, to make sure we don’t get rid of NAFTA and keep it in place.”
The North American Free Trade Agreement not only benefits the entire United States, but plays a significant role within rural communities. Rogers states, “Iowa exports roughly $5 billion worth of food and agricultural products each year.”
“About 51% of that goes to our NAFTA partners, so $2.5 billion. That’s a lot of jobs and income for people here in the state of Iowa. We want to make sure that we continue to have a robust NAFTA which will keep those trading partners in place and that we can continue to grow our exports to those countries,” Rogers said.
Rogers concludes by discussing the negotiation “timeline.” He says Americans for Farmers and Families would like to see a finalized agreement by year end. However, the Coalition would not mind waiting longer for a better agreement, as “a NAFTA agreement is better than no NAFTA agreement.”
“Ultimately, people would like to see something in place and have certainty of a process moving forward this year,” Rogers said. “However, if it isn’t going to happen before the elections, we understand it might take a couple years to get this into place, and have a better NAFTA agreement than not have one at all.”