NAFTA talks: Loosen protections on dairy sector, New York Republican says

Sean Reid
September 14, 2018

The director of public Affairs of Teamsters Canada, Christopher Monette, who attended behind-the-scenes to the most recent negotiations in Washington, believes that the administration, Trump would not touch the system of supply management, particularly as it relates to the dairy industry. But he said the Liberals plan to be flexible on other issues in order to get a deal. Otherwise, he says, the Americans could invade the canadian market.

"We're just interested in breaking those barriers and having a solid relationship with our partners to the north".

The renegotiation of the 24-year-old NAFTA, which also includes Mexico and is integral to the continent's economy, has dragged on for 13 months.

How negotiations play out will determine the fate of numerous jobs and hundreds of billions in trade between the two nations.

Canada and the United States are attempting to put the final touch to a text that could be submitted to Congress at the end of the month and allow Canada to join the agreement signed by the administration Trump with Mexico.


The two sides have so far been unable to break an impasse over, among other issues, US access to the Canadian dairy market, a cultural exemption for Canada and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

Freeland said that discussions between U.S. and Canadian negotiating teams over the weekend were "constructive and productive", so she flew in for what may be the only a day of talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

"In some countries, including Canada, a tax on cars would be the ruination of the country".

"To me, a lot of that is consistent with my suspicion that the USA doesn't really want to get a deal [or] at least the [Trump] administration doesn't", he said, citing the leaked off-the-record comments Mr. Trump gave Bloomberg in late August when he said he was refusing to compromise with Canada and that any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".

US dairy farmers have long demanded more access to Canada's market and also are unhappy about a Canadian decision to allow farmers to sell milk protein products to the country's processors at a lower price, cutting off American supplies.


"We have all been dealing in good faith", he said. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow last week said milk was the main issue standing in the way of a NAFTA deal.

It was not clear when talks would resume on Thursday, and there were no immediate indications what progress may have been made in Wednesday's late session among staff.

"There is no question Canada and Mexico are going to get a haircut and the best you can hope for when you get a haircut is that it looks stylish", Mr. Ujczo said.

He is also looking for a political win ahead of November's midterm elections where members of Congress in border states, like Reed, are looking to retain their seats and calm the nerves of businesses whose biggest export customer is Canada.

"Trump is relying on bluster and bullying in a desperate attempt to get Congress to swallow his half-baked deal".


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