OTTAWA, MAY 1, 2017 — Leaders from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) strengthened their Canada-U.S. connections and underscored the benefits of NAFTA last week during meetings with American Farm Bureau representatives in several states. Their five-day tour included visits to California, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin.
“What we’ve learned from these discussions is that U.S. farmers depend on NAFTA as much as Canadian farmers do. No one wants to jeopardize the agreement for fear of losing the significant benefits accrued by all parties including well established markets for agriculture and agri-food products,” said CFA President Ron Bonnett. “Everyone agrees however that because of the wide open borders, more due diligence needs to be done in the area of regulatory harmonization, eliminating technical barriers to trade and adding components to the original agreement that take into consideration a changed business environment due to technological advancements.”
Bonnett said that the Wisconsin Farmers Union also supports NAFTA and were in agreement that the diafiltered milk issue was a scapegoat for the larger problem, which is the current worldwide glut of milk on the market.
“The key take-away from our U.S. meetings is that we now have good chance to resolve some of the ongoing barriers to trade that stand apart from tariff rules. Farm groups in Canada and U.S. have long called for harmonized regulations,” said Bonnett.
Moving forward, CFA will continue to work with its members and government officials to seek and implement actions that will modernize North American trade, leading to greater value for all NAFTA partners.
CFA Director of Communications
Phone: 613-236-3633 ext. 2322