Wisconsin Soybean Association Lukewarm on NAFTA Replacement

Tony Mellenthin, president of the Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA), a soybean farmer from Menomonie, Wis., believes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a “step in the right direction” but “more action is needed” to help Wisconsin’s soybean farmers.

“While this new trade agreement provides a great path forward for trade relations in North America, we hope the current administration continues to build on the momentum to improve trading relationships with the entire world, especially China,” Mellenthin said. “China currently consumes more than 30 percent of the soybeans grown in America. There is no current trading partner that can replace China, and Wisconsin farmers are already feeling the harmful effects of the 25 percent tariff on prices for their soybeans.”

The USMCA – dubbed the “new NAFTA” – helps solidify economic relationships among the United States, Mexico and Canada.

According to the American Soybean Association (ASA), soy exports to Mexico in 2017 were almost $3 billion. This makes Mexico the second largest export market for U.S. soybeans and meal. The ASA also notes that roughly $43 billion of agricultural products are exported to Mexico and Canada every year.

“Wisconsin soybean farmers are unafraid to compete for business anywhere in the world,” Mellenthin said. “We encourage the Trump administration to do all in its power to build free trade around the world, including and especially with China.”

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