The Farmers for Free Trade campaign is encouraging legislators across the country to pass a U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement favoring farmers. After 10,000 miles of driving, the campaign’s decorated RV finally hit the Pacific Ocean.
In April, former Democratic U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln joined the #MotorcadeForTrade in Pennsylvania as the campaign’s spokesperson. She saw the road trip as a way to visit with farmers and share the importance of what they do.
“Those trade agreements are critical,” Lincoln told Agri-Pulse during a brief stop in Sacramento. “When you start tinkering with it haphazardly, there's ramifications.”
The RV first stopped for a reception with state Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jenny Moffitt, Governor Newsom’s trade advisor Bud Colligan and several state legislators. Lincoln and the team also visited the Farmer’s Rice Cooperative, meeting with farmers she remembered from her days as senator representing Arkansas – another large rice producing state.
They then motored over to San Francisco for what Lincoln described as a productive meeting with staffers for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The RV pulled into Sonoma Monday afternoon, in time for a dinner ahead of the Summer Conference for the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).
“They've worked hard to build this industry,” she said of the CAWG board, adding that the members were anxious to see a trade deal, as well as an easement of tariffs.
Lincoln is hopeful the deal may be wrapping up soon.
“It's time to start getting some things done,” she said. “You've already seen Mexico pass some of the labor standards that were being requested there. So, it's moving down the pike.”
While the road ended at the beach, the campaign continues. Lincoln and the team were immediately off to meet with a Lodi apple farmer and have plans to drop in on more farm groups in the region.
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