Is NAFTA a Real Problem
There is concern in Washington that Congress will fail to enact fast-track
legislation for expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Concern is especially felt by members of Congress representing rural districts
and states dependent on a healthy agricultural economy for their overall
or Only a Perceived Problem?
It seems farmers and ranchers are not as enthusiastic about NAFTA as they
once were. Leadership of many farm and commodity groups is concerned that
these "perceived" problems with NAFTA will prevent these groups
from rallying their membership to support new fast-track authority.
Let us take a moment, answer a few questions and determine whether farmers
and ranchers are having "perceived" or "real" problems
- Are not today's farmers and ranchers the most educated in U.S. history?
- Are not today's farmers and ranchers the most informed in U.S. history?
- Has there been one agency in the Bush or Clinton administrations which
was not or is not pro-NAFTA?
- Can you identify one major U.S. newspaper which is not pro-NAFTA?
- Can you identify one major national agriculture publication which is
- Can you identify one national commodity organization which is not pro-NAFTA?
- Considering the American Farm Bureau Federation's five million members,
can you identify one state Farm Bureau which is not pro-NAFTA?
Can we not agree that U.S. producers are educated, informed and totally
immersed in pro-NAFTA information? Then why do so many farmers "perceive"
there is a problem with NAFTA for production agriculture in the U.S.? Why
do they not support NAFTA as many perceived they did prior to its ratification
There can be only one of two answers:
1. There are "real" problems for U.S. farmers and ranchers with
2. National Farmers Union is the most effective, influential farm organization
in U.S. history.
If you picked answer number two, God Bless You. But in all honesty, NFU,
as good as it is, has not brainwashed all those disgruntled producers. The
fact is, there are "real" problems with NAFTA, and those problems
must be addressed prior to any expansion of the trade pact.
Vice President of Government Relations
National Farmers Union
400 Virginia Ave., S.W., Suite 710
Washington, DC 20024
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