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Report shows pulling out of NAFTA would be disastrous for Nebraska farmers

Nebraska Farm Bureau says withdrawing from NAFTA could have an impact of up to $55,000 per farm in Nebraska (NTV News)

Pulling out of NAFTA would be disastrous for Nebraska farmers and ranchers, according to a new analysis that shows the cost could be $55,000 per farm.

As a farmer near Kenesaw, Myles Ramsey says it’s a reminder what happens outside our boarders has a huge impact.

“Touches my pocketbook, my checking account,” he said.

Ramsey listened in Monday, to a new report showing the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement that Pres. Trump has talked about withdrawing from.

Ramsey said, “I've been concerned since the start and now I have numbers to put with the concern so it's real.”

An economist from Nebraska Farm Bureau says Mexico is the top customer for Nebraska corn. And both Canada and Mexico are among the top five importers of Nebraska beef.

Jay Rempe says NAFTA adds more than $30 per head of cattle, and more than a dollar to each bushel of soybeans.

And on the individual farm, that adds up in a big way according to the Farm Bureau analysis.

Rempe said, “Phelps County scored the highest, with per farm value of over $55,000 per farm.”

Those are numbers they want policymakers to know, saying agriculture has been overlooked and they remain unsure of what the president’s intentions are.

Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said, “What he means by better trade deals and what we think are good trade deals may not be the same thing.”

For Myles Ramsey, these are numbers he plans to memorize and share with his congressman, saying Nebraska needs free trade with its nearest neighbors, especially since the president killed the Asian free trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Ramsey said, “I did not think we would get out of TPP with a Plan B and we did and I'm afraid we might do the same with NAFTA. We need a Plan B or modernize what we have.”

According to the Farm Bureau analysis, nearly half of Nebraska’s agricultural exports go to the two NAFTA countries.

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