The following is a statement Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr., regarding the possibility of U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“We are alarmed by reports that President Trump is considering an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA and urge the administration to consider the consequences of such an action.
“Canada and Mexico are our two largest trading partners and Illinois farmers’ economic success absolutely depends on a healthy and stable relationship with these two countries.
“Illinois agricultural and food exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled due to NAFTA. Last year, Illinois agri-food exports to our NAFTA partners supported nearly 35,000 jobs in Illinois alone.
“Farmers are at or below the cost of production as we plant our spring crops. This kind of action further raises our uncertainty level as we try to market the crops we grow.
“While we certainly understand President Trump’s desire to bring NAFTA into the 21st century and to recommend changes that will help U.S. workers, complete withdrawal from NAFTA would decimate Illinois farmers as well as rural America.
“We look forward to lending our expertise and experience to any discussions designed to improve or streamline NAFTA, and urge the president to outline a clear path for moving forward to improve NAFTA.”