Implemented in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement has removed barriers to agricultural trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Agricultural exports from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico have increased from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.1 billion in 2016.
Renegotiations for NAFTA began on August 16, 2017.
Farm Bureau policy supports the U.S. government acting to protect U.S. agricultural interests in NAFTA. Any renegotiation must protect the gains achieved in agricultural trade and work to remove remaining barriers to trade with Canada and Mexico.
Farm Bureau priorities for a modernized NAFTA include:
- Updated, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary rules;
- Improved dispute settlement procedures for fresh fruits, vegetables and horticultural products;
- Eliminated or reduced Canadian tariff barriers to dairy, poultry eggs and wine, as well as the recently implemented barriers to ultra-filtered milk;
- Addressing the misuse of geographical indicators; and
- Developing a consistent, science-based approach to biotechnology.
Additional Details on the Agreement
NAFTA is a comprehensive economic and trade agreement that establishes a free-trade area between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Tariff elimination between the United States and Canada did not extend to Canadian imports of dairy and poultry products. Tariff-rate quotas
(TRQs) for these products were established in order to comply with WTO requirements.
Tariffs were eliminated for all products between the U.S. and Mexico.
NAFTA 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 antidumping duty issues.
Issues with Canada include quotas and tariffs on dairy and poultry products and the classification of U.S. wheat exports. Mexico and Canada also have issues they will want to revisit in any negotiations.