Nebraska depends mightily on its $2.6 billion in trade with Mexico and Canada. Almost half of Nebraska’s agricultural exports and 91,000 jobs rely on that commerce.

Yet, the slow, contentious renegotiation of NAFTA is endangering that trade and the good relations with Canada and Mexico. Unless all three governments show flexibility now, the valuable “modernization” of NAFTA will be delayed until after a new Mexican government takes office in December, pushing final decisions into 2019. That would leave great uncertainty for Nebraska’s farmers, workers and businesses. A total collapse of NAFTA would be extremely costly for Nebraska and for America. Negotiators should press for broad agreement on key issues at a minimum by the end of April, before Mexico’s July presidential and congressional elections and the U.S. congressional elections close the political maneuvering space in both countries.

The best outcome would be to conclude an agreement, but that may not be possible given the detailed work still needed. If the three countries can settle on big-ticket items, however, then technical talks can continue and reduce economic uncertainty.

Read the full article on the Omaha World-Herald...