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Box 5.1

Support for NAFTA, by major agricultural interest groups, 1993

Favoring liberalization American Farm Bureau Federation The National Grange American Soybean Association National Corn Growers Association US Feed Grains Council National Cattlemen’s Association National Pork Producers Council National Milk Producers Federation The Agribusiness Council, Inc. Sweetener Users Association Food Marketing Institute

Against liberalization National Farmers’ Union American Corn Growers Association National Association of Wheat Growers National Peanut Council of America Southwest Peanut Growers Florida Sugar Cane League US Beet Sugar Association Florida Citrus Mutual Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Western Growers

United Food and Commercial Workers (AFL-CIO)

Source: Orden (1994).

it. Virtually the same restrictions limited agricultural trade between Mexico and Canada. As might be expected, some agricultural trade associations fa- vored NAFTA while others opposed it. Box 5.1 summarizes the lineup of important trade associations.

In contrast to the US-Canada agreement, Mexico and the United States took far-reaching steps toward complete liberalization of agricultural trade. The ultimate goal of their bilateral agreement was to eliminate all import quotas and tariffs—with no exceptions. Liberalization was not, however, implemented on a rapid schedule, and the phaseout terms for sensitive products were often backloaded. Mexican tariffs on corn and dry beans were subject to a 15-year phaseout period, and the United States in- sisted on similar transition periods for tariffs on winter vegetables, orange juice, peanuts, and sugar (USDA 2002a). Appendix table 5A.1 gives duty rates on US-Mexico agricultural trade as of 2003, and box 5.2 summarizes the phaseout arrangements. Given these restraints, in 2000, just nine com- modities—some of them minor agricultural products—represented 55 per- cent of the value of US-Mexico agricultural trade: beer,3 coffee, tomatoes, cattle, peppers, cucumbers, grapes, cauliflower, and broccoli.

Mexican agriculture is passing through a familiar phase in the history of industrialization. As countries become richer, agriculture inevitably plays a smaller role in the economy and employs a smaller share of the

3. Beer, of course, represents a highly processed agricultural product, and the issues sur- rounding trade in beer (and other alcoholic beverages) are very different from those sur- rounding primary agricultural products. Since alcoholic beverage trade now faces few bar- riers in North America, beer issues are not discussed in this chapter.



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