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Animal feed industry eyes NAFTA talks warily

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, Canada and the United States continues to trudge on, with the fate of the agreement hanging in the balance.  The U.S. government initiated the renegotiation at the behest of President Donald Trump, who has reiterated his willingness to abandon the pact on multiple occasions.  But it appears that Mr. Trump is working himself into something of a political pickle, since if he actually made good on this threats and pulled the United States out of NAFTA, it could cause serious consequences for some bedrock sectors of his own party in the run-up to mid-term Congressional elections in the U.S. this year.  This has not been lost on midwestern grain farmers, most of whom – we’re just going to go out on a limb and take a guess here – probably voted for Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential election.  Grain exports are very important to midwestern grain farmers in states such as Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, for which Mexico ranks as either number one or number two export market for overall exports.  Not all grain exports are used to produce animal feed, but lately we’ve been languidly gazing at statistics on livestock feed production to allay our vespertine torpor, and it looks to us like they paint a pretty clear picture about the impact of public policy on industry. Continue reading Animal feed industry eyes NAFTA talks warily