PRESS RELEASE: NAWG President Defends NAFTA Trade Deal at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Washington, D.C. (October 31, 2017) – Today, NAWG President Gordon Stoner, along with several U.S. agricultural stakeholders and business community representatives, participated in a NAFTA panel titled “The Future of NAFTA: The Stakes for American Agriculture and Business.” The panel took place at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. and was moderated by Neil Herrington, the U.S. Chamber’s Vice President of the Americas.
“The NAFTA trade agreement was key in growing international markets for U.S. wheat,” stated NAWG President and Montana Grower Gordon Stoner. “Just last year alone, Mexico was our largest export market with about 3 million metric tons of wheat and is consistently in the top 10.”
Each year U.S. wheat production is about 58 million metric tons, or about 2.13 billion bushels. The United States exports around 50% of its wheat (1 billion bushels) to more than 100 countries each year.
“With U.S. wheat farmers already enduring financial distress, open access to the Mexican and Canadian markets is needed now more than ever. Our farm economy is struggling, and we look to current and new trade markets to sell our high-quality product,” continued Stoner. “As the Administration continues to be flippant about NAFTA re-negotiations, Mexico has already begun sourcing wheat from other countries. NAWG continues to stress for the Administration to ‘Do No Harm’ and to look ahead for opportunities for new trade deals.”
Additional panelists included:
- Mr. Randy Spronk, Managing Director, Spronk Brothers III; Ranger Farms
- Dr. Dermot Hayes, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chair in Agribusiness, Iowa State University
- Mr. Bob Peterson, Chairman & CEO of Melton Truck Lines, Inc.
- Dr. Albert M. Green, CEO, Kent Displays, Inc.
NAWG is the primary representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at state and national levels. From their offices in the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members and the public.