WASHINGTON, DC -- Yesterday, Senator John Boozman (R-AR) led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross requesting that the Administration review how any changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would affect the agriculture industry.
“It is imperative that before any changes are made to NAFTA, or any other free trade agreement, that economic analysis that illustrates the impact on the full supply chain of the industries involved be shared,” the senators wrote. “As such, we request an economic analysis that examines and evaluates the impacts to crop and livestock sectors as a result of any change to NAFTA.”
There has been significant concern among leaders in the agriculture industry on the potential impacts of changing NAFTA. This is especially true of the U.S. rice industry that counts on Canada and Mexico as two of the largest export markets.
“USA Rice applauds Senator Boozman’s leadership in recognizing the importance of NAFTA to the U.S. rice industry,” said Ben Mosely, USA Rice Vice President, Government Affairs. “As the senior senator from the largest rice producing state in our country, Senator Boozman acutely recognizes the negative effect that changes to this trade deal would have on Arkansas’ rice industry.”
Other rice state senators joining onto the letter, included Missouri’s Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and Texas’ John Cornyn, as well as long-time advocates for the rice industry, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran. A copy of the letter was also sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.