Mexico’s chief NAFTA negotiator and Canada’s top agricultural official say their countries remain committed to completing the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, no matter how long that effort may take. listen
Kenneth Smith, who heads NAFTA negotiations on behalf of the Mexican Ministry of Economy, along with Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, addressed the 22nd World Meat Congress in Dallas on Thursday. The event is hosted by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and the International Meat Secretariat.
Smith says the negotiations that started in August have made progress in many areas, with proposals for the tougher issues currently on the negotiating table.
Mexico will first elect a new president in July, a date negotiators were hoping to avoid. Smith explains listen how Mexico’s elections could impact the NAFTA negotiations and the ratification process.
Mexico and Canada consider the recent steel and aluminum tariffs a separate trade issue that will be addressed outside of NAFTA. listen Canada’s MacAulay says NAFTA has been very beneficial for the agricultural sectors of all three countries. (See impacts on the U.S. pork industry here.)
Smith reiterated that complex trade negotiations take time, and will finish when all three sides reach a favorable agreement listen.
Smith and MacAulay were featured speakers at the 2018 World Meat Congress, a gathering of more than 700 international meat industry representatives. Look for more updates from the 2018 World Meat Congress at www.usmef.org. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.