Could the NAFTA renegotiations affect local farms?

January 23, 2017 06:57 PM

President Donald Trump is promising to renegotiate NAFTA. But local farmers are concerned changes to the trade agreement could impact them.

You may be wondering what international trade has to do with local farms. The answer is a lot. Their livelihood depends on it.

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"I hope some people are watching you tonight on TV, because this is important," says George Mueller.

George Mueller founded Willow Bend Dairy Farm in 1960. Today, they produce 30,000 gallons of milk each and every day. From a business standpoint, he says trade is a good thing.

"Trump, if he starts putting barriers down for trading between countries, we're in huge, huge trouble," says Mueller.

President Donald Trump has announced plans to renegotiate NAFTA -- America's free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. Crafted by former president bill Clinton -- it was enacted in the 90s -- and Mueller worries if it goes away it would devastate American workers.

Spotts: "How would this impact you?"

Mueller: "Rachel, it would be huge... Mexico is one of our main customers for milk products."

He adds, "It's bad. It's bad."

Mueller says everyone would feel the effects. Prices would go up on daily items -- like milk and yogurt. Not to mention other products America sells to countries around the world.

"It just raises the price of everything you have," says Mueller, "if you're not trading, you have no market... My one message is that trade brings world peace and world prosperity."

Dairy farmers in the U.S. export about 15 percent of all the milk produced. We've reached out to other businesses in the Rochester area that export products as well. They're waiting to see what exactly comes of the negations between President Trump and Canadian and Mexican officials before they comment.


Rachel Spotts

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