The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been quick to announce a trade agreement with Mexico. And the Canadian Produce Marketing Association is encouraged with the evolution of the talks.
First, the USDA statement.
"President Trump is delivering on his promise to renegotiate the old, outdated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), making good on his pledge to strike the best deals possible for all of our economic sectors, including agriculture,” stated American ag secretary Sonny Perdue. “The President has achieved important improvements in the agreement to enable our agricultural producers to be treated more fairly.
"The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to keep up with 21st century innovations. And we mutually pledge to work together with Mexico to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency, and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products.”
"This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers.
"We now hope that Canada will see the need to settle all of the outstanding issues between our two nations as well, and restore us to a true North American Free Trade Agreement."
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) also issued a statement, reassured by the Mexican president’s continued reference to including Canada in future discussions and moving towards a new trilateral trade agreement.
The CPMA statement read in part:
Canadian negotiators have been steadfast in their support for the industry and are well briefed on issues affecting fresh produce, including the seasonality provision, the elimination of Chapter 19, and the sunset clause. It is our understanding that the seasonality provision has been removed from the U.S.-Mexico agreement and will not be part of the discussions moving forward. CPMA has long advocated for the removal of the seasonality provision and is pleased that it will not be a feature of a future trilateral agreement.”
Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to join the NAFTA renegotiations in Washington on August 28.
Source: USDA August 27, 2018 news release/CPMA August 27, 2018 news release