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Iowa Corn Farmers Welcome US-Mexico-Canada Agreement

October 1, 2018

STATEMENT FROM ICGA PRESIDENT CURT METHER

While we look forward to the opportunity to fully evaluate the details of this agreement made in principle with Mexico and Canada, we applaud the Trump Administration for finding a path forward with these two important trade partners as it has the potential to deliver market access for Iowa farmers and rural America.

Trade policy has a significant impact on Iowa’s corn farmers. The success of our rural economies depends on expanding markets for corn in all forms. For Iowa agriculture to thrive, we need trade agreements that recognize how important it is that the U.S. meat and grain industries including beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and biofuels, have market access at a competitive level in North America and across the globe.  ICGA is committed to banding with other farm organizations in working with President Trump’s Administration on ways to both preserve and expand upon agriculture sector gains achieved in the North American market.

Since its passage more than two decades ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has profoundly changed North American agriculture. NAFTA eliminated nearly all tariff and quota restrictions in agriculture resulting in an integrated system between Canada, Mexico and the United States. This has propelled these countries to the top of the U.S. list in importance for agricultural trade. For the past 20 years, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico tripled and quintupled, respectively. One in every 10 acres on American farms is planted to feed our neighbors to the north and south. 

Mexico is the number one market for U.S. corn and the number two market for U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Canada ranks as our ninth largest customer for U.S. corn, DDGS, and ethanol. The U.S. meat industry has also benefited from duty-free access to Mexico and Canada. These are both top five markets for beef and pork, with Mexico being the leading volume market for pork and second largest market for beef. 

Iowa farmers want to continue to serve this important international customer base and further expand our export opportunities. We look forward to working the Trump Administration and Congress to preserve and expand our competitive edge in agriculture with this vital agreement.

Contact: Lisa Cassady, PR Manager, lcassady@iowacorn.org, office 515-225-9242 or cell (515) 443-3947

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