NAFTA dispute brings pain to both sides
american farmers are increasingly impacted by tariffs caused by ongoing trade disputes with Canada, mexico, China and the european union, according to the u.S. Chamber of Commerce.
So much so the u.S. department of agriculture is now handing out $4.7 billion in farm aid to offset losses from retaliatory tariffs. and it’s not just farmers getting hurt. in america’s heartland, retaliatory tariffs threaten some $1 billion in exports from iowa, $660 million of that with Canada alone.
and while hog and soybean farmers are impacted, so are steel, pesticide and other manufacturers. the story’s the same across the u.S. that’s why Chamber of Commerce president and Ceo thomas J. donohue on Friday urged negotiators to reach a deal that includes all three naFta signatories.
“naFta’s many strengths rest on the fact that it ties together three economically vibrant nations, drawing upon each of our strengths to boost the competitiveness of the whole,” donohue said in the release. “if you break off one member of this agreement, you break it all, and that would be bad news for u.S. businesses, for american jobs, and for economic growth.”
Clearly, trade disputes hurt everyone — farmers, employers, workers and consumers. and just as clearly, Canada, mexico and the u.S. economies are deeply integrated.
economic and political pressure will eventually resolve our current disagreement.
meanwhile, the remaining hurdles for Canada (mexico and the u.S. have a tentative pact) appear to be over access to our dairy market, preserving NAFTA’s cultural exemptions and maintaining a dispute resolution mechanism.
donald trump’s rhetoric may be inflammatory, but his job is to get a better deal for americans. he also risks a political battle with Congress over NAFTA and growing backlash from ordinary americans, despite his booming economy, as the trade dispute increasingly disrupts jobs and prices.
our prime minister, Justin trudeau, on the other hand has mismanaged negotiations from the start, including by shoehorning his progressive agenda into talks.
the americans should have more access to our dairy market. Supply management is a costly, protectionist hangover that bilks consumers in this country. extending cultural protection costs the u.S. little but we do need a way to resolve disputes.
both trudeau and trump need a NAFTA win and, for all our sakes, we hope both get one.