Skill-based Immigration; Corn Exports to Mexico
**President Trump last week endorsed a Senate bill for a skills-based system for immigration that could have a distant effect on farm labor because it would halve the flow of legal immigrants.
The Ag Workforce Coalition says it “continues to work with key lawmakers on legislation that would address agriculture’s needs” for a legal and reliable supply of farmworkers with hopes it gains traction in the fall.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte expects to introduce a bill to create a new Ag guest worker program, to be called H-2C, which would be open to farmworkers now in the country illegally.
**A Purdue University Ag economist says corn exports to Mexico are better than recent comparisons indicate, despite reports to the contrary.
David Widmar tells Brownfield a bigger-picture shows the sky is not falling because it’s actually the second highest level of exports in the past 10-11 years.
Widmar says slower sales to Mexico have been blamed on cooling trade relations, but are actually less political and more balance sheet driven.
**The leader of the nation’s largest farm organization has some objectives as the renegotiation of NAFTA begins.
American Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall says its first priority is to protect aspects of NAFTA that benefit U.S. agriculture.
He says over the life of the treaty, we went from $8 billion dollars worth of trade to $38 billion, so it’s been a very good trade treaty.