Nearly half of Wisconsin’s dairy, fruit and vegetable exports went
to Canada and Mexico last year, raising concerns amid the uncertain
future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Farm Bureau also found that almost 90 percent of live animal exports
last year when to NAFTA partners, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
indicate how crucial trade is to the agriculture industry, said Jim
Holte, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. It’s not
an option for farmers to pull out of the world market, he said.
‘‘If we were to
have to change our production levels down to what only could be
consumed in this country, it’d be quite the disaster for prices,’’
Holte said. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of
NAFTA if Canada and Mexico don’t agree to terms that are more
favorable for the U.S.
Brian Gould, an
associate professor of agricultural and applied economics at the
University of Wisconsin- Madison, said he’s unsure what will happen
if the U.S. were to pull out of NAFTA immediately. The U.S. or its
partners may impose new tariffs on products if NAFTA is discarded,
been actively exploring trading relationships with some of our
competing countries for their dairy imports and there’s a potential
that we could lose those markets,’’ Gould said. ‘‘Even if we don’t
lose NAFTA, we may lose those markets anyway.’’
producers could be devastated if they lose export sales to Canada
and Mexico, Gould said.