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

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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