Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, visited the Landus Cooperative facility in Jefferson today (Wednesday) to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) impact on their business and made comments encouraging the Trump administration to quickly resolve disputes over trade. Since NAFTA’S establishment in 1994, food and ag exports to Canada and Mexico from the U.S. grew by 450 percent, and Naig says any changes will impact Iowa farmers.
Landus Cooperative ships a 110-car train to Mexico about once every six days and has moved approximately 15 million bushels of grain, two million of which originates in Jefferson, since Sept. 1. Naig says Iowa has worked for more than two decades to build trade relations with our neighbors, and Canada and Mexico have responded by building infrastructure to facilitate that. According to Naig, those investments made by governments and private industry could be used elsewhere if the U.S. pulls out of NAFTA.
With the Mexican presidential election scheduled for July 1 and the U.S. midterms slated for November, the political climate for trade negotiations could change dramatically in the next year. Naig says he hopes an agreement is reached before that happens.
Following the tour in Jefferson, Naig stopped in Maple River to meet with constituents before traveling to a candidate forum in Denison. Naig is one of five Republican candidates vying for his party’s nomination in the June 5 primaries.