TOPEKA, KS – After the many months Governor Jeff Colyer and other important agricultural leaders of Kansas spent advocating for the importance of the NAFTA trade agreement to the Kansas economy, President Donald J. Trump today announced a new trade agreement with Mexico. Under the new, modernized agreement between the United States and Mexico tariffs on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico will remain at zero.
“Kansas is heavily dependent on the agricultural and manufacturing industries and it is a huge relief to our state to know that we can continue trading tariff-free with the new agreement,” said Gov. Colyer. “I am thankful to the Administration for reaching an agreement that modernizes this crucial trade pact and creates an environment that enables Kansas agriculture and manufacturing to thrive.”
For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to support 21st century innovations in agriculture. The text covers all biotechnologies, including new technologies such as gene editing. The United States and Mexico have agreed to provisions to enhance information exchange and cooperation on agricultural biotechnology trade-related matters. Additionally, the agreement reduces trade distorting policies, strengthens rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and more.
NAFTA supports over 120,000 jobs dependent on trade with Canada and Mexico and accounts for more than one-third of the state’s total exports. A letter was sent to President Trump in March of this year, signed by Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., Lieutenant Governor Tracey Mann, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Farm Bureau and more than 40 other business and agriculture associations and companies emphasizing the importance of the NAFTA agreement to the state.
For several months, Governor Colyer has been actively involved in conversations with United States Trade Representative Ambassadors C.J. Mahoney and Gregg Doud regarding Kansas’ position in the global trade market, and the expansion of export opportunities for Kansas products.
“We appreciate the Governor’s efforts standing up for the best interests of the state,” said Matt Teagarden, CEO of the Kansas Livestock Association, “Kansas livestock producers are certainly grateful for his emphasis on protecting this valuable trade agreement on behalf of them and the other agricultural producers of Kansas.”
Lt. Governor Tracey Mann added, “Governor Colyer continues to work tirelessly to do what’s in the best interest of the hard-working people of our state, whether that’s in agriculture or any other industry. Today’s announcement from the President takes us in the right direction for our state’s future growth in trade, and we are very pleased.”