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David Sparks Ph.d NAFTA and Naerbout
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: March 16, 2017

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The headline in the Idaho statesman read Idaho farm, food firms brace for NAFTA trouble. Then there is a subheading saying many in the states business world, including ag and food companies, say Pres. Donald Trump will hinder operations if he tweaks or repeals the trade deal others say it needs to be renegotiated. No matter what, a lot depends on how the negotiations proceed. Someone with a lot of knowledge about the subject is Idaho Dairymen's Association director of operations Rick Naerbout. “39% of all US dairy exports go to Mexico. They are by far our largest trading partner on dairy. Let's say that Trump just realigns the NAFTA agreement. Do you think that would blow up in our face, in other words Mexico's as we are not changing stripes and will go to another country and import, maybe Canada? And that's what our fear is. If you want to have a conversation that is cordial with Mexico about the provisions of NAFTA that don't sit well with you, okay do that in a respectable manner so that you don’t upset Mexico. If they take an abrasive approach, agricultural commodities are always the first to receive retaliatory tariffs. So when countries get into trade wars, it is always agriculture that takes the brunt of that because we are the first ones to receive tariffs.” Exports among the NAFTA partners have tripled since it was signed into law.

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