Roger Bernard, senior agriculture policy analyst at Informa Economics, gave an update on the political and policy landscape in Washington at the American Feed Industry Association’s Purchasing and Ingredients Suppliers Conference on Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Among other topics, he focused a lot of attention on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 2018 Farm Bill.
Here are 10 key takeaways from his outlook:
- On NAFTA and President Donald Trump vs. legislators: “Politics are still coming into play in these trade negotiations.”
- On NAFTA support in Congress: “Some trade agreement supporters in Congress have become wary because of broken promises.”
- On NAFTA’s impact on agriculture: “If NAFTA collapses, agriculture does serve to get hit pretty hard.”
- On NAFTA and the red states: “States that Trump won to a big degree are the ones that rely on NAFTA the most.”
- On Mexico’s preparation for a possible NAFTA breakdown: “Mexico is getting ready to seek other corn suppliers around the globe.”
- Informa’s outlook on NAFTA: “We think, in the end, you will see a NAFTA 2.0 agreement put together.” But the key will be whether Congress will approve it.
- On the 2018 Farm Bill: “Politics are going to come into play on this Farm Bill, which is a situation that doesn’t usually happen.”
- On U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, and his approvals from the administration as well as the agriculture industry: “Perdue has been having to do a very delicate balancing act running the USDA.”
- On how far the U.S. political landscape stretches: “What’s going on in Washington does reach beyond the Beltway” and affects U.S. financial markets and world markets.
- On immigration reform during an election year: “You’re not going to get meaningful immigration reform done this year.”