November 23, 2017

Round Four of NAFTA Negotiations Could Get Thornier – House Ag Chair Returns from Ottawa

Negotiations to remake the North American Free Trade Agreement resumed Wednesday amid increasing concerns of a breakdown, with President Trump continuing to threaten to withdraw from the pact and the administration planning to push several contentious proposals across the table over the next few days.

Trump, speaking alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Treudeau, opened the door to separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico.   Scuttle NAFTA

Asked if he would consider separate deals with Canada and Mexico, Trump said he would. Split Deals

House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway traveled to Canada this past weekend to speak with Canadian officials about the ongoing renegotiation efforts. He briefed reporters about his  trip on Wednesday.

Conaway Trip to Canada

Conaway pointed out that Canadian consumers spend about 160 percent more for their milk at the grocery store than American consumers do. He argues that Canada’s dairy management system is to blame.

Conaway on Canadian Consumers

Canada’s quota-based supply management system, which regulates the production of eggs, dairy and poultry in the country, has been in American crosshairs for months. The sectors were exempted under the original 1993 NAFTA agreement.

American officials and industry leaders have repeatedly insisted U.S. dairy and poultry producers must be given more access to Canada’s supply managed marketplace.

Canada has said it will defend its supply management system in the NAFTA talks.