Thu, 03 Aug 2017
CANADA - Bruce Cochrane reports that Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says, despite the contentious issues surrounding trade among Canada, the United States and Mexico, support for continuation of the North American Free Trade agreement remains strong within the agriculture sector.
The first round of talks involving Canada, the United States and Mexico aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement is scheduled to take place in Washington from 16 to 20 August.
Florian Possberg, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says NAFTA has allowed tariff-free trade with not a lot of encumbrances for pork to move among the three countries and it really has allowed the pork industry be larger and more efficient.
Around agriculture we know that supply management has been a concern over the last number of years.
We also know that things like lumber and the auto industry are big ticket items and, when you sit down to negotiate, sometimes there are trade offs and those are concerns.
We know that we've had a dispute settlement mechanism with the United States and Mexico in the past that has worked in resolving issues that we've had around Country of Origin Labelling and we would like that dispute settlement to be legitimate so we'll wait and see how that all works out.
We know that Canada has a very strong lead negotiator in Steve Verheul and his many years of experience I think will do well for us.
Mr Possberg says NAFTA is an important part of how the North American pork industry functions allowing product to move freely north and south.
He says a lot of our product goes into the United States and Mexico and the deal has been good for all three countries so to keep that agreement in place is really important for all three nations.