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News That Affects You

Farmers express concern over Trump's policies on trade


Agriculture and trade groups are voicing concerns over President Donald Trump's stance on immigration and his threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump's calls to build a wall between the U-S and Mexico and possibly institute a tax on Mexican imports have incited a political crisis between the two countries. He also says he'll either renegotiate NAFTA to benefit Americans or withdraw from it altogether.


Karen Hansen-Kuhn of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy says instead of pitting people in one country against another, NAFTA could be replaced so that it benefits all. She says rural farmers struggle to make a living under the current agreement.


"So much of the focus has been on producing as much as possible and depending on export market. And in the process, both because of provisions on tariffs and changes in investment rules, farmers have lost bargaining power."


She says the Trump administration needs to take public comments, and check with farmers and rural communities, before making changes to NAFTA. The IATP also opposes parts of the Trans Pacific Partnership, but the group supports restoring "country-of-origin labeling" so consumers know where the meat they're buying comes from, and it supports having more laws to regulate the dumping of foreign-grown fruits and vegetables into American markets, affecting local farmers' profits.



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