A sizable majority of rural Americans backed Donald Trump’s presidential bid, drawn to his calls to slash environmental rules, strengthen law enforcement and replace the federal health-care law.
But last month, many of them struck a sour note after White House aides signalled Trump would deliver on another signature vow by edging toward abandoning the North American Free Trade Agreement. Farm country suddenly went on red alert.
Trump’s message that NAFTA was a job-killing disaster had never resonated much in rural America. NAFTA had widened access to Mexican and Canadian markets, boosting U.S. farm exports and benefiting many farmers.