Following Vice President Mike Pence’s recent visit to Council Bluffs, Iowa to tout the success of tax reform, the Iowa chapter of Americans for Farmers & Families called on the Trump administration to enhance the tax cuts’ economic benefits for Iowa’s farmers and consumers through preservation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a pact that supports Iowa’s food and agriculture economy.
“NAFTA is critically important to our members,” said Mike Ralston, president of Iowa Association of Business and Industry. “Our state’s manufacturing and ag industries depend on our strong partnerships with both Mexico and Canada. As the negotiations continue, we hope the White House keeps these industries in mind.”
The food and agriculture sector raises a significant source of income for Iowa’s residents. In 2016, $5 billion worth of food and agriculture products were exported, with $2.5 billion going to Canada and Mexico. Iowa’s food and agriculture sectors support over 754 thousand jobs and $40 billion in wages. Closing access to these foreign markets will reduce a major source of income for Iowans and staunch the tax law’s impact.
“The good news is we’ve been seeing improvement in the ag economy in recent months,” said Will Rogers, director of government affairs with the Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association. “We certainly do not want to jeopardize this growth by withdrawing from NAFTA. We should instead modernize and update it in a way that works for farmers and manufacturers.”
Passage of the Trump tax cuts represent a major step forward in helping to secure a prosperous economic future for Iowa’s farmers and consumers. But preservation of NAFTA will go hand-in-hand with its success and enhance the economic relief Iowans receive under President Trump’s administration.