Recent statements by President Trump on to exit the NAFTA trade agreement is rising concerns of Michigan farmers. In October 2017, Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development stated, “Trade with Canada and Mexico is absolutely vital for agriculture in Michigan,” said Clover Adams. “As our federal governments continue to negotiate a modernized NAFTA, it is imperative that the gains agriculture has made under NAFTA are preserved and that we ‘do no harm’ so that agricultural trade with our North American neighbors can continue to grow and prosper.”
Huron County is one of the largest exporters of Black Beans to Mexico. If the NAFTA trade deal is scraped or severely amended there is concern it could impact Michigan farmers directly with loss of markets.
North American food industry experts indicated that nearly $43 billion in food and agricultultural goods were sold to Canada and Mexico in 2016. In November 2017 the US Department of Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in Washington that he’s working with the White House and Congress to come up with a plan to protect farmers in the event of a NAFTA pull-out.