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Ahead of NAFTA Negotiations, 55 Public University Ag Deans Express Strong Support for Continued Robust U.S. Agricultural Exports

August 14, 2017

Washington, DC – Ahead of Wednesday’s U.S.-Canada-Mexico discussions on adjustments to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a group of 55 agriculture deans from public universities across the country today sent a letter U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, as well as Assistant U.S. Trade Negotiator for the Western Hemisphere and Chief NAFTA Negotiator John Mille outlining the vital importance of robust exports of U.S. agricultural products to Mexico and Canada facilitated by NAFTA.

The full text of the letter follows:
 
August 14, 2017
 
 
The Honorable Wilbur Ross                                        The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Secretary                                                                     Secretary
U. S. Department of Commerce                                 U. S. Department of Agriculture
Room 5858                                                                 Room 200-A
1401 Constitution Ave, NW                                       1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.  20230-0001                                  Washington, DC  20250-0001
 
The Honorable Robert E. Lighthizer                          Mr. John M. Mille
Ambassador                                                                Assistant U. S. Trade Representative for the
U. S. Trade Representative                                         Western Hemisphere & Chief Negotiator,
600 17th Street, NW                                                    NAFTA
Washington, DC  20508                                             Office of the U. S. Trade Representative
600 17th Street, NW
                                                                                    Washington, DC  20508        
 
Dear Secretary Ross, Secretary Perdue, Ambassador Lighthizer, and Chief Negotiator Mille:
 
As you know, the United States is the world’s largest exporter of farm products with agriculture exports accounting for 33 percent of U.S farm income in 2016. Since the passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have increased four-fold with these two countries representing the second and third largest global markets for U. S. agricultural exports, respectively.
 
Furthermore, it also has been estimated that U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico account for nearly one-fourth of all U. S. employment attributed to merchandise trade with those countries.
 
Because of the importance of agricultural exports to both the farm and U.S. economies, we, the deans/administrators of our nation’s public and land-grant colleges of agriculture, strongly support the continued robust export of U. S. agricultural products to Mexico and Canada facilitated by NAFTA. We also urge our trade negotiators to seek opportunities to expand such trade in your upcoming discussions with representatives from Canada and Mexico. Agricultural exports are critical to rural America and the whole country.
 
Please feel free to contact us directly through Eddie Gouge at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
 
                                                                        Sincerely,
Paul M. Patterson
Dean, College of Agriculture and
Director, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Staiton
Auburn University
 
Lloyd T. Walker
Professor, Dean and 1890 Research Director
College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences
Alabama A&M University
 
Walter A. Hill
Dean, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences
Tuskegee University
 
Fred Schlutt, Jr.
Vice Provost for Extension and Outreach and
Director, Cooperative Extension Service
University of Alaska
 
Aufa’i Apulu Oopeti Areta
Director, Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources Division (Land-Grant Program)
American Samoa Community College
 
Shane C. Burgess
Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Director, Arizona Experiment Station University of Arizona
 
Mark J. Cochran
Vice President for Agriculture
Division of Agriculture
University of Arkansas System
 
Glenda Humiston
Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California Systemwide
 
J. Keith Gilless
Dean, College of Natural Resources
University of California, Berkeley
 
Kathryn E. Uhrich
Dean, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
University of California, Riverside
  
L. Cameron Faustman
Interim Dean and Director
College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture
University of Connecticut
 
Sabine O’Hara
Dean of CAUSES and Land-Grant Programs
College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Scieces
University of the District of Columbia
 
Robert W. Taylor
Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs
Florida A&M University
 
Samuel L. Pardue
Dean and Director, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
University of Georgia
 
Govind Kannan
Dean, College of Agriculture, Family Sciences, and Technology
Fort Valley State University
 
Lee S. Yudin
Dean and Director, College of Natural and Applied Sciences
University of Guam
 
Kimberlee K. Kidwell
Dean and Robert A. Easter Chair, College of Agricultural, Consumer
and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 
Karen I. Plaut
Interim Dean, College of Agriculture
Purdue University
 
Wendy Wintersteen
Endowed Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Iowa State University
 
John D. Lawrence
Acting Vice President – Extension and Outreach
Iowa State University
 
John D. Floros
Dean, College of Agriculture and
Director, K-State Research and Extension
Kansas State University
 
Nancy M. Cox
Dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and
Director, Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Kentucky
 
William B. Richardson
Vice President for Agriculture and
Dean, College of Agriculture and Chalkley Family Endowed Chair
LSU AgCenter
Louisiana State University
 
Bobby R. Phills
Chancellor-Dean
Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus
Southern University and A&M College
 
Moses T. K. Kairo
Dean, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
 
Jody Jellison
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Agricultural Research and Engagement
and Director, UMass Extension and Director, Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
 
Brian Buhr
Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and
Director, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Minnesota
 
Beverly R. Durgan
Dean and Director, Cooperative Extension
University of Minnesota Extension
 
Gregory A. Bohach
Vice President, Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine
Mississippi State University
 
Albert E. Essel
Dean, Research Director, and 1890 Administrator
College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences
Lincoln University
 
Jeff Bader
Director of Extension
Montana State University
  
Michael J. Boehm
Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska
and, Vice Chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
 
William A. Payne
Dean, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources and
Director, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Nevada, Reno
 
Jon M. Wraith
Dean, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and
Director, Agricultural Experiment Station
University of New Hampshire
 
Kenneth J. La Valley
Dean and Director, UNH Cooperative Extension and
UNH Professional Development and Training
University of New Hampshire
 
Robert M. Goodman
Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
 
Rolando A. Flores
Dean and Chief Administrative Officer
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
New Mexico State University
 
Kathryn J. Boor
Robert P. Lynch Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
 
Shirly J. Hymon-Parker
Interim Dean and Research Director, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
North Carolina A&T State University
 
Cathann A. Kress
Vice President of Agricultural Administration and
Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
The Ohio State University
 
Thomas G. Coon
Vice President for Agricultural Programs and Dean and Director,
Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Oklahoma State University
  
Daniel J. Arp
Reub Long Dean of Agricultural Sciences and
Director, Agricultural Experiment Station
Oregon State University
 
A. Scott Reed
Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement and
 Director, Extension Service
Oregon State University
 
Richard T. Roush
Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
 
Tim L. Cross
Chancellor, Institute of Agriculture
University of Tennessee
 
Chandra Reddy
Dean and Director of Research and Administrator of Extension
College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences
Tennessee State University
 
Mark A. Hussey
Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Texas A&M University System
 
James M. Palmer
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and
Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs
College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
Prairie View A&M University
 
Kenneth L. White
Vice President, Extension and Agriculture
Utah State University
Thomas C. Vogelmann
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and
Director, Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Vermont
 
Robert W. Godfrey
Director, Agricultural Experiment Station and Professor, Animal Sciences
University of the Virgin Islands
 
Alan L. Grant
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
 
Orlando F. McMeans
Vice President for Research and Public Service
West Virginia State University
 
Kathryn A. VandenBosch
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and
Director, Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Wisconsin-Madison
 
Karl J. Martin
Dean and Director, UW Extension-Cooperative Extension
University of Wisconsin-Madison
 
Jay T. Akridge
Chair
Board on Agriculture Assembly, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
 
Ian L. Maw
Vice President, Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
 
 

cc:  The Honorable Pat Roberts, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and
           and Forestry, United States Senate
       The Honorable Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member, Committee on Agriculture,
           Nutrition, and Forestry, United States Senate
       The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, Chairman, Committee on Finance, United States Senate
       The Honorable Ron Wyden, Ranking Member, Committee on Finance, United States Senate
        The Honorable Bob Corker, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, United States
           Senate
        The Honorable Benjamin Cardin, Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Relations,
           United States Senate     
       The Honorable Mike Conaway, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
           U. S. House of Representatives
        The Honorable Collin Peterson, Ranking Member, Committee on Agriculture
            U. S. House of Representatives
        The Honorable Ed Royce, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U. S. House of
            Representatives
        The Honorable Eliot Engel, Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U. S.
            House of Representatives
         The Honorable Kevin P. Brady, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, U. S. House
             of Representatives
          The Honorable Richard E. Neal, Ranking Member, Committee on Ways and Means,
              U. S. House of Representatives

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