Even though the Trump Administration hasn’t followed through on a potential threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, the possibility is already affecting the U.S. Grain Trade.
The fifth round of talks wrapped up last week in Mexico, with all sides promising to get the deal done “as soon as possible.” U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recently said he’s concerned about the lack of headway in the negotiations in spite of reports that some progress has been made to modernize the agreement. Farm groups like the U.S. Grains Council are expressing their concern that the potential threat of withdrawal is already affecting grain trading with other countries.
Tom Sleight, president of the U.S. Grains Council, says U.S. competitors are already starting to increase their trade to current U.S. trading partners. “The U.S. is no longer seen as a reliable supplier, which is really alarming to us in terms of the investment we’ve put into making our economies and businesses intertwine over the last 35 years,” Sleight adds. Lighthizer says there’s no evidence that Mexico and Canada are willing to make the concessions that will lead to a rebalanced agreement.