Trade Agreement

Trade Agreement

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Some time ago Washington wheat farmer Randy Suess talked about the benefits of a trade deal with Columbia: “As far as wheat goes, the big success story was signing the one with Columbia. Because without that Free Trade Agreement, we would have lost out on that market share to Canada as they had already signed a free trade agreement with Columbia. It would have put us at a $45 a metric ton disadvantage. Well, in a day and age that every couple of dollars makes or breaks a sale $45 would have locked us out of that market.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the United States is ready for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that officially goes into effect on Wednesday.

USTR Lighthizer says his team has worked non stop since talks started 14 months ago.

“We built in a very good rapid response system plus a state-to-state dispute settlement system, we have committees, we have ways for congressional involvement and the administration will follow through,” said Lighthizer.

The Mexican labor part of the agreement was the most difficult.

“I realize and we all realize, all of us, and that's why we spend so much time with it, that labor enforcement with Mexico is going to be a problem and it's a crucial part of this agreement,” added Lighthizer.

Lighthizers' comments came at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing this past week.

“I could assure the committee that when it does go into effect we will take action early and often when there are problems,” said Lighthizer.

The US Trade Representative also mentioned Canadian Dairy operations.

“We want you to know and other members that have been concerned about this issue of Canadian dairy that we will follow it very closely if we need to. We will bring an action against them,” said Lighthizer.

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