Farmscape for May 4, 2018
The Vice President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says growing pressure from within the United States for maintaining the North American Free Trade Agreement and trade issues with other countries are influencing the desire of the U.S. to reach an agreement on NAFTA.
A marathon session of ministerial meetings and negotiating sessions aimed at revamping NAFTA concluded last week and discussions are expected resume next week.
Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says, if you compare this agreement to other agreements, remarkable progress has been made in the nine plus months since negotiations began last September.
Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
I think there's a lot of pressure now from the farm community especially and also now from auto workers and the business community on the administration to, as the farm workers and the auto workers put it, do no harm to the NAFTA.
That is improve it but don't rubbish it because it is working well for them.
I think the most significant development over the past nine months has been the appreciation of the United States of how NAFTA works for particular communities starting with the farm, community and with the auto workers.
The other factor that is out there is that the United States trade agenda is very full.
The United States has embarked on a confrontation with China over what they would perceive as Chinese theft of intellectual property and unfair trading practices, dumping of goods in the United States and a general taking full advantage of the international trade system but not contributing to the international trade system in the manner that they were expected to do so when they joined in 2001.
Robertson says it now appears the United States would like to have a deal but it has to be under their terms, and there is broad agreement across Canada that NAFTA has worked for Canada.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork