Montana Ag: NAFTA’s impact on Montana wheat farmers

Negotiators were in Montreal, Canada for the sixth round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement this week and Montana wheat and barley farmers paid close attention to the ongoing talks.

According to Michelle Erickson-Jones, president of the Montana Grain Growers Association, NAFTA has been one of the most important agreements overall for the United States and especially the wheat industry.

“U.S. wheat exports into Mexico have increased 400 percent since we signed the NAFTA agreement,” Erickson-Jones said. “And we’ve also increased the amount of barley that they take in particularly out of Montana. Mexico is Montana’s number one market for barley.”

She said the trade agreement, which was signed into law in 1993, was significant then and still is now.