by Deena Shanker
President Donald J. Trump was largely supported by American farmers during the election, even as he made a campaign promise to exit the North American Free Trade Agreement. But now many of those farmers are worried President Trump will follow through on that promise. And they are taking to Twitter to plead with him not to.
Using the hashtag #Farmers4NAFTA, individual farmers and agricultural groups are tweeting about the benefits of NAFTA.
Joseph Anderson @beemerjoe Field work is over for the fall,but this #Idaho #Farmers4NAFTA is taking a minute to urge the Administration to sta… https://t.co/jZwNn9W0sF https://twitter.com/beemerjoe/status/938439576368046080
Texas Wheat @TexasWheat Take a moment to make your voice heard today - let @POTUS @realDonaldTrump know how NAFTA has impacted your operati… https://t.co/MKngV4FQF6 https://twitter.com/TexasWheat/status/938453377314410498
GROWMARK @GROWMARK Since 1993, fruit and vegetable exports from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada have more than tripled. #NAFTA works! @whitehouse #Farmers4NAFTA https://twitter.com/GROWMARK/status/938452731664257024
FFT @FarmersForTrade Beware of the Bacon Tax!! #NAFTA withdrawal would mean a 10% tax hike on pork exports to Mexico. #Farmers4NAFTA… https://t.co/v9V0H0Bvyt https://twitter.com/FarmersForTrade/status/938452167224119297
Michelle Jones @bigskyfarmher . @realDonaldTrump I’m a wheat farmer from Montana who relies on #NAFTA, let’s find a win-win in #NAFTA 2.0 to main… https://t.co/9YXl895jfq https://twitter.com/bigskyfarmher/status/938456270406803456
Canada received $20.3 billion worth of American agricultural products in 2016, making it the top destination for such goods, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mexico received $17.7 billion, coming in third place behind China.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The tweets add to the voices in Congress calling on the administration to remain in NAFTA. Senator Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, published an Op-Ed in The Hill on Wednesday highlighting the benefits of the agreement. Republican Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Joni Ernst of Iowa also made a case for the agreement on Tuesday over lunch with the president and the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
Many agricultural groups have been urging the administration to renegotiate—not exit—the trade agreement, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, which represents a group of over 130 food and agriculture trade associations and companies.
The impacts of a NAFTA withdrawal would reverberate beyond farmers’ incomes. Consumers would likely see higher grocery prices as well, according to a November Congressional Research Service report reviewed by Bloomberg.
To contact the author of this story: Deena Shanker in New York at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Josh Petri at [email protected]
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