What’s up with NAFTA? Here’s how to get started.
The US, Canada, and Mexico have just finished the first round of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) negotiations. Like all trade agreements, participants are looking for terms that will benefit them.
For agriculture, we want:
- Duty-free market access for agricultural products
- Reduced or eliminated tariffs for our products.
- Elimination of non-tariff barriers—quotas, subsidies, price discrimination and undercutting.
- Reasonable adjustment periods for regulatory changes
- Reduction in burdens caused by regulatory differences.
For “Sanitary and Phytosanitary”—food safety—measures, we want:
- Enforceable science-based measures
- Allowing countries to set their own levels of food-safety protection
- Expeditious resolution of unwarranted barriers to US food products
- Enforceable rules to ensure non-discriminatory implementation of science-based measures.
- Transparency in negotiations
Politico Pro Morning Agriculture has a truly wonderful summary of the positions of the three trading partners (if it’s behind a paywall, try this).
- Round #1: ended on Sunday (Here’s the bland trilateral statement about it)
- Round #2: September 1-5 in Mexico City
- Round #3: September 23-27 in Canada
- Finish: before Mexico’s next election early in 2018
Want to know more? Begin with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
Want to figure it out for yourself?
- The North American Free Trade Agreement, current version
- US Trade Representative’s home page on NAFTA gives an overview of its history
- US Trade Representative’s 2001 summary of early history
- Announcement of key dates in the runup to the negotiations
- Request for comments in the Federal Register
- Comments submitted on NAFTA
- Transcripts of hearing on NAFTA
The FERN’s Ag Insider summarizes its recent NAFTA coverage , and makes it available outside its usual paywall—a gift:
- On NAFTA, Mexicans will try to give Trump a ‘win’ without losing, 8/14/17
- Meet the farmers who say NAFTA hasn’t helped them, 8/7/17
- Perdue: New NAFTA mantra must be ‘Do no harm to agriculture’, 8/7/17
- Hand-wringing and hand-holding ahead of NAFTA talks, 7/30/17
- The ‘new NAFTA’ inspires anxiety on both sides of the border, 7/26/17
- White House says it will knock down NAFTA barriers, 7/18/17
- Trump meets with his ‘friend,’ Mexican President Nieto, for the first time, 7/9/17
- Is a slowdown in U.S. soy, corn, and poultry sales to Mexico a signal of the future?, 6/29/17
- NAFTA is mutually beneficial, say ag ministers, but needs to be ‘modernized’, 6/20/17
- With NAFTA on the horizon, U.S. deals with Canada and Mexico ag issues, 6/5/17