Minot News

Without NAFTA, Our Farmers Could Be Affected

A trade agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico known as NAFTA could come to a close.

If that happens, it could be North Dakota that is one of the most affected.

"Agricultural is North Dakota," said Eric Eriksmoen, Research Agronomist.

Eric Eriksmoen made it clear; Agricultural is a big part of our state. So big, that most of the crops grown here get exported to other countries, especially within the North American Trade Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico.

"Those 2 trading partners are very important to agricultural in North Dakota," said Eriksmoen.

There have been reports that say the Trump administration could be pulling out of NAFTA.

"If we took it away I don't know if that would be good either," said Douglas Opland, Farmer.

"We can't afford to let NAFTA go away. It's so important for the continued success of farmers in North Dakota," said Eriksmoen.

NAFTA was implemented in 1994 and over time it eliminated most agriculture tariffs and quota restrictions among the three countries.

"It's always about how much they can get it for," said Opland.

If the US pulls out of NAFTA, Eriksmoen says that there's a chance that taxes could be put on our crops, which means the price of those crops could go up. That gives other countries the opportunity to look for the same products in places other than here.

"Supply and demand is where we get our price and if you put a tariff on it, who's it going to affect? It's going to affect the farmer," said Opland.

According to Agweek.com, North Dakota leads in exports. Nearly 84 percent is exported from here, which is equal to 3.5 billion dollars.

"For a farmer it's big because we have to get our wheat, and durum, and our corn, and soybeans out. We can't use it all here in the United States," said Opland.

"It doesn't make sense to us in North Dakota where we depend so highly on this trade agreement," said Eriksmoen.

No final decisions have been made, but having negotiations about NAFTA is already putting an affect on our local farmers.

The Trump Administration doesn't believe that the US is getting a fair deal.

Negotations will continue among countries.

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