Farmers need a backup plan if the U.S. exits the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a top Department of Agriculture official. Ted McKinney, USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, told Agriculture.com that he “would advise anybody to be prepared with contingencies,” despite the administration knowing “very well where the farm and ag industries stand.” The ongoing talks to renegotiate NAFTA aren’t going as well as hoped, and McKinney says abandoning the trade agreement still seems to be a real possibility. While McKinney says he and others within the Agriculture Department are optimistic that the Trump administration will successfully “carry the day” during the negotiations, he says it would be prudent for crop and livestock producers to look at some contingencies in the event the U.S. were to exit the 23-year-old trade agreement.
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