Could Brexit impact U.S. agriculture?

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) While Britain's vote to leave the European Union is playing out across the pond, there's a potential we might feel some aftershocks at home.

Some experts say the shake-up could impact U.S. agriculture exports.

"Particularly here, even in the Midwest with agriculture being of primary concern, we recognize we have some real problems ahead of us," said James P. Moore Jr., managing director of the Business, Society and Public Policy Initiative at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business.

James P. Moore Jr. says lawmakers in the U.S. should not downplay the vote's importance.

"For farmers here, we are always concerned about risk and uncertainties," he said. "To all of the sudden throw Brexit in the mix with all of these risks and uncertainties is heightening the concerns about what the future holds."

While the process of exiting the EU is projected to take years, Senator John Thune (R-SD), a member of the agriculture committee says the Agriculture market could take an immediate hit.

"If the pound continues to be devalued relative to the dollar and the value of the dollar goes up, it makes it more difficult for us to export our products to the UK because it makes them more expensive," Thune said.

Europe’s loss could be the U.S.’s gain in the long term. The EU has had long standing restrictions importing some of our beef, poultry and pork. Now there’s the potential the U-K could change that.

"We have been very critical of the EU over the years," said David Salmonsen with the American Farm Bureau.

Salmonsen says the U.S. loses out on potentially billions of dollars of exports because the EU has much stricter food processing rules, keeping many genetically engineered foods grown in the U.S. out of the European market.

"Here's a chance to change that with a major European country," Salmonsen said. "I think that's a heck of an opportunity for us to look at, I think people in agriculture all around the country should see that.”

There are still many unknowns, but one thing is for certain, leaving the EU will require Britain to strike a new trade deal with the U.S.

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