WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) met with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Dec. 6, regarding the ongoing negotiations with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and NAFTA’s vital importance to farmers, ranchers and manufacturers in Kansas. Sen. Moran, who requested the meeting through the Senate Commerce Committee in a letter to Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), was joined by several of his colleagues from the committee.
“Our economy in Kansas is dependent on the ability of our farmers, ranchers and manufacturers to trade their products,” said Sen. Moran. “In 2016, Kansas exported more than $4.5 billion worth of agricultural products, which supported more than 36,000 jobs and generated more than $5.7 billion in economic activity. I encouraged Secretary Ross to be extremely mindful of the role agricultural trade plays in Kansas’ economy and the consequences of NAFTA withdrawal to our farmers and ranchers. To illustrate this point, I showed Secretary Ross a picture of grain piles waiting on the ground in Kensington, Kansas as a direct example of why NAFTA is needed in our state to sell goods and feed the world. I appreciate the Secretary’s willingness to engage in this issue and hear our concerns. Secretary Ross understands I will continue to follow the negotiation process closely and I will not hesitate to bring up further concerns as I hear from farmers and ranchers on this issue.”
Items to Note:
· Sen. Moran last month sent a letter to Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) to request the committee continue to engage with Secretary Ross on trade and the direction of NAFTA negotiations, prompting today’s meeting.
· Sen. Moran recently signed a bipartisan letter to Secretary Ross asking the administration to conduct a robust economic analysis to evaluate how any changes to NAFTA would affect changes to the nation’s crop and livestock sectors.
· Sen. Moran also sent an open letter to farmers and ranchers regarding the threat of NAFTA withdrawal and urged them to advocate for sound trade policy. The letter was first published in Agri-Pulse and encourages the agriculture community to share their concerns with the administration about the importance of trade and their ability to sell what they produce around the world.