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Dispute Settlement Key Outstanding NAFTA Issue for Canada
Colin Robertson - Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Farmscape for September 11, 2018

The Vice-President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute suggests dispute settlement remains the key outstanding issue blocking Canada's acceptance of a new North American Free Trade Agreement.
Canada U.S. negotiations aimed at completing a revised North American trade agreement are continuing this week.
Colin Robertson, the Vice-President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, observes the good news is the United States has shown signs of being prepared to compromise on issues such as dispute settlement and the sunset clause.

Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
For Canada probably what is most important is to secure some form of dispute settlement but there are other items as well.
We'll probably make some concessions around dairy access to the United States.
We would have done this if the United States had remained part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Whether this means the dismantlement of supply management, I don't think it does nor do I think the United States is really pushing hard for that.
Although that may be good public policy because my own view is that Canadian poultry and dairy products can be every bit as successful in the international market as our Canadian beef and pork and Canadian grains and pulse, all of which enjoyed at some point protection in Canada.
But, once we opened up the market, we found that we have a product that is attractive and liked around the world.
Another item is cultural industries.
Again the Prime Minister has said that they want to seek some form of protection.
There's an election in Quebec coming up.
All of the parties running in the Quebec election, they're all one in saying that they want to maintain the existing supply management system for dairy and to have strong cultural protection for Canada.

Robertson acknowledges the clock is ticking.
He says President Trump served notice to Congress August 29 that he would be submitting a new agreement with Mexico and, if a deal can be reached, with Canada within 30 days so, to meet that time frame, negotiations will need to conclude by the end of this month.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


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