An op-ed written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) appeared on Friday Breitbart News in which he defended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Citing the importance of the trade agreement for Iowa's agricultural sector, Grassley wrote that farm exports depend on NAFTA. He also warned that President Donald Trump's criticism of the Clinton-era agreement or threats to withdraw could be devastating.
"In my home state of Iowa, one out of five jobs is trade-dependent. Every third row of soybeans is planted for export, 60 percent of Iowa corn and 77 percent of poultry products are exported to countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement," Grassley wrote. "Needless to say, smart trade policies have a major and direct impact on the health of the economy in Iowa."
"In an “America First” agenda, withdrawing from NAFTA would be a mistake and cause serious, negative consequences," the Iowa senator added. Grassley conceded that NAFTA could bear some improvement, arguing that it needs a "smart renegotiation" to bolster the changes in the tax rates brought about by the Republican tax reform package. "A smart renegotiation of NAFTA would continue building on these early successes," Grassley wrote in a reference to the Republican tax legislation. "Improvements to the agreement would unlock additional potential for productivity and prosperity in America’s heartland."
"I’m confident that we can negotiate a fair deal that will put farmers first and encourage continued economic growth and prosperity in rural America," he concluded.