Statement of NPPC President Ken Maschhoff on U.S.-Mexico NAFTA Agreement on Sugar

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America’s pork producers congratulate Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his team for negotiating a sugar deal in principle with Mexico that works for both sides. The last thing we need going into the NAFTA modernization talks is a black cloud hanging over the discussions.

Pork producers are all-in on modernizing NAFTA. While the deal has been a runaway success for pork producers, they recognize that some groups have voiced concerns. Pork producers are hopeful that any such concerns can be addressed, without jeopardizing the important benefits that they and many other sectors continue to reap thanks to NAFTA.

Canada and Mexico represent 36 percent of our global pork exports and more than 15 percent of our total pork production. According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, U.S. pork exports to Mexico have created more than 9,000 U.S. jobs. But Hayes calculates that if NAFTA were terminated, the U.S. pork industry would lose the entire Mexican market.

That undoubtedly would be the case for many other U.S. products. So, the importance of Mexico and the United States reaching agreement on sugar cannot be overstated and hopefully is a harbinger of a successful NAFTA modernization.


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 Ken Maschhoff is a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill.

NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 60,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit


June 6, 2017