High Incentive to Quickly, Successfully Conclude NAFTA

CANADA - The acting Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance suggests there is a great deal of incentive to bring the renegotiation of NAFTA to a quick and successful conclusion, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 28 August 2017
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The first round of negotiations aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement concluded earlier this month and rounds two and three are planned for September.

Martin Rice, the acting Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, observes they have a very intensive negotiating schedule.

Martin Rice-Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

Basically you're looking at every third week being a round and these are four to five day events.

The next round is going to be starting on the first of September in Mexico.

The next round after that will be in Canada, likely Ottawa, in kind of the third week of September.

Based on any negotiation I've been involved in, it's just far more frequent and yet they're still trying to cover all of the issues and there's and there's an expectation on the US and the Mexican part of getting it done and Canada is following that schedule but the US and Mexico both have a high importance attached to having the process completed by January, given Mexican Presidential elections are taking place mid next year and then the US, mid-term elections in the fall.

The feeling is that, if it's not done by the start of the year, there'll be a fair bit of time lost and there is, I think, in the current US administration a desire to get another of their key platform elements to be brought to what, in their view, would be a successful conclusion.

Mr Rice notes the first round of what's expected to be seven rounds between now and the end of the year has concluded.

He says it was the one to lay out the roadmap for the next several rounds and he expects the next round to see some specifics coming out of the negotiations.

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