December 11, 2017

#Farmers4NAFTA Becomes Rallying Cry On Social Media

NAFTA negotiations might not be going as well as planned, but the agriculture industry is far from done pushing for an agreement.  On Wednesday, agriculture groups from the U.S. Dairy Export Council to the National Corn Growers Association, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture to the National Association of Wheat Growers and even Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts took to social media to boost their cause using the #Farmers4NAFTA.

The reasons behind the support were as wide ranging as the number of groups involved but the message was clear.  NAFTA is vital to U.S. agriculture and in a time of low prices, its importance cant but underestimated.  Some of the quotes included:

National Corn Growers Association: In 2016, U.S. food and agricultural exports reached more than $135 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, supporting more than 1 million American jobs and accounting for more than 32 percent of gross farm income #farmers4NAFTA

Farmers For Free Trade: If the U.S. withdraws from NAFTA the export tax on corn could go as high as 37%. Would be a nearly $1 billion annual tax #farmers4NAFTA

American Seed Trade Association: #DYK Over one-third of all U.S. seed exported is sent to Mexico and Canada. U.S. seed producers cannot lose this critical market!

Dairy Farmers of America: #NAFTA has helped U.S. dairy become a major exporter, with Mexico as our number one customer. As an industry, we will stand united and are encouraging our members raise their voice to mend NAFTA, not end it.

Other tweets came from personal accounts:

@cornfedfarmer: Keeping NAFTA keeps me, and my family, in business. You can deliver a big win for farmers and workers in Nebraska #farmers4NAFTA

@dfaber84: . “When goods cross borders, armies won’t.” – Frederic Bastiat

@matt_splitter: Keeping NAFTA keeps my Kansas family farm in business. Mexico is our #1 export buyer of our corn. You can deliver a big win for farmers and workers in Kansas and the US.

By the end of the day, Twitter and Facebook saw a flood of supportive comments, the vast majority of which aimed in support of the long standing trade agreement.  Senate Ag Committee Chair also joined the action by writing an op-ed for several Washington based news outlets.  Ag Groups say they will continue to push for further support.  Those wishing to offer their commentary on the agreement, according to multiple groups, can call the White House constituent line at 202-456-1111.  The effort also encourages not just the use of the hashtag, but also tagging @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, or @RealDonaldTrump to make sure the message is received.