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Importance of U.S. Support for NAFTA Builds
Colin Robertson - Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Farmscape for March 9, 2018

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute says growing support from within the United States for the North American Free Trade Agreement continues to influence negotiations.
The President's decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum influenced the mood of discussions during round 7 of the renegotiation of NAFTA progress was made.
Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says growing support for NAFTA from within the U.S. and, in particular from within the President's own party, is important.

Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
For 24 years NAFTA was a leper in the United States.
Nobody wanted to touch it or support it but, since the negotiations have begun, first the farm community then the manufacturing industries, particularly around autos, then the larger business community have come out and said do no harm to NAFTA.
Now the energy community is also saying do no harm, this has worked well for America.
It has got bound up a little bit in this aluminum and steel issue and there you've seen over 100 members of the President's own party telling the President, members of Congress and members of the Senate, saying don't proceed with this.
It's going to do harm to the American economy.
I think we should watch and see how this tariff issue works its way through.
Will Canada and Mexico be able to maintain their exemption?
Will there be exemptions for particular companies in allied countries?
How real is this?
The tariff does not take effect for 15 days and during that time there'll be continuing lobbying and efforts to seek exemption and there will be an exemption process that will probably take some months.
I'd watch that.
I'd also watch over the next month to see what progress, if we hear of any, on the key issues related to dispute settlement, government procurement, the sunset clause and the rules of origin related to autos.

Robertson believes much of the rest of the agreement negotiators are fairly close to finishing.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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