Farmscape for August 17, 2017
The Vice-President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says, with the renegotiation of NAFTA now underway, there's good reason for Canadians to be optimistic.
The first round of negotiations aimed at renewing the North American Free Trade Agreement kicked off yesterday in Washington.
Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says the fact that Canada is actually at the table is cause for optimism.
Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
President Trump, running as candidate Trump, declared on many occasions that NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever negotiated and that on his first day in office he would tear it up.
He did, on his first day in office, shelve the Trans-Pacific Partnership which effectively was an updating of the NAFTA but done with 12 countries including Canada, Mexico and the United States.
But the NATA, I think there was serious consideration to indeed tearing it up, giving notice and it would have taken six months for the United States to pull out but, particularly the farm community in the United States, protested, came back and said look this is working for us.
We're selling a lot of our produce to Canada and to Mexico so do no harm please.
I think that's what helped persuade President Trump to renegotiate the agreement.
He has said that he has had conversations with both Prime Minister Trudeau and President Pena Nieto of Mexico.
As well there was opposition from both sides of the aisles up in Congress.
And, of course, to proceed into the renegotiation, he has had to seek the permission of Congress through the Trade Promotion Authority so we have a pretty clear sense of what the Americans are looking for.
The United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer submitted a list of objectives to Congress about a month ago and then, when he and his colleagues, Chrystia Freeland and Ildefonso Guajardo, the Mexican Trade Minister, opened the negotiations they spelled out what they were looking for as well.
Robertson is confident we'll have a good indication of how negotiations are going soon after each round.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork