Ohio agriculture and business leaders visited the editorial boards of two major Ohio newspapers to make their case for preserving valuable portions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
NAFTA renegotiations threaten to turn back trade gains for agriculture and key Ohio industries. OFBF Executive Vice President Adam Sharp joined Tadd Nicholson of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, Keith Lake of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Ian Sheldon of Ohio State’s CFAES to encourage The Columbus Dispatch and Akron Beacon Journal to share with readers what is at risk.
A subsequent Dispatch editorial stated, “The 23-year-old NAFTA pact…has been an engine of growth for agriculture in Ohio and nationwide, with exports of food and ag products quadrupling since it went into effect. With crop prices at historic lows, farmers struggle to remain solvent by increasing exports to grow their market.”
The editorial also noted, “Junking NAFTA wouldn’t hurt only farmers. If farms fail, local equipment suppliers, transportation and other services, and consumers would lose out, too. And other industries, particularly Ohio’s auto manufacturers and suppliers, rely upon the international supply chains that have grown under NAFTA.”
The Beacon Journal made similar endorsements of NAFTA’s importance to agriculture and manufacturing.
American Farm Bureau is heavily involved with the current administration and congressional leaders, working to protect agriculture’s vital export markets.