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Renegotiating NAFTA Offers Opportunity to Strengthen North American Pork Industry Ties

25 January 2017, at 12:00am

US - The National Pork Producers Council is hopeful a renegotiation of NAFTA will improve US pork industry ties with both Canada and Mexico, writes Bruce Cochrane.

US President Donald Trump has indicated he intends to immediately begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Since 1994, when the agreement was implemented, there's been a rapid increase in US pork exports to both Mexico and Canada.

Dave Warner, the Communications Director with the National Pork Producers Council, says the fact the agreement already exists and has been working should allow the administration to take the time needed to get things right.

Dave Warner-National Pork Producers Council:

NPPC is certainly going to urge the administration to negotiate bilateral agreements with other countries around the world.

We only have 23 trade agreements and we only had two in the pipeline and other countries are negotiating deals all over the world and we can't, as a country, stand still on trade.

But having the agreement among the US, Canada, Mexico already in place and in place for 23 years it's much easier to rework the parts that need to be reworked rather than starting from scratch.

We do understand that there are certain sectors in the United States that have concerns about the trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico and those should be looked at and addressed if they need to.

I think that's what the Trump administration wants to do but we want to make sure that our exports to both countries are not disrupted in any way because that can hurt our producers' ability to compete.

Warner hopes renegotiating the deal will improve North American pork industry ties.

He says Canada sends a lot of feeder pigs to the United States and the United States sends a lot of finished product to Canada so it's a symbiotic relationship.