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Wisconsin Farm Groups Tout Importance of NAFTA
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/15/2018

A coalition of Wisconsin agricultural organizations say it is imperative that the U.S. continues to be part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Calling themselves the 'Americans for Farmers and Families,' the groups said in a conference call on Wednesday that NAFTA is essential to the success of the state's farm sector--especially the dairy industry, which is going through a struggling market right now.

"Dairy farms in Wisconsin would be at great risk if the U.S. pulls out of NAFTA," said Kari Kuehl, executive advisory committee chair of the Wisconsin-based American Dairy Association. "We intend to do all we can to make clear to President Trump and other policymakers the need to remain in NAFTA even as discussion takes place on updating it."

Tamas Houlihan of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association agrees. He says every potato sold out of the U.S. helps ease the pressure on oversupplying the domestic market.

"By joining forces in Wisconsin and nationally, the agriculture industry is hoping to send a clear message on the need to preserve and enhance NAFTA, not withdraw from it," Houlihan said.

Other leaders want the White House to understand that agriculture infuses nearly $90 billion into Wisconsin's economy each year and leads to over 400,000 jobs. The group further said during the call that Canada and Mexico combined account for over half of the food and agriculture product exported from the Badger State.

Other Wisconsin members of the coalition include Cooperative Network, Midwest Food Products Association, Wisconsin State Cranberry Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, WIB Agri-Business Council, Wisconsin Paper Council, Edge Dairy Cooperative, and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association.

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