Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday urged Canada to more fully engage in the push to complete an update of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Hill.com reports that Perdue, who called the upgrade of NAFTA a top priority for the Trump administration, specifically asked Canada to step up and “get in the game” to modernize the 24-year-old three-nation agreement, during remarks to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn.
“To get a deal we need all sides to seriously roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Perdue said. “We have put a number of proposals on the table to modernize NAFTA, and critically for agriculture, to address key sectors left out of the original agreement–dairy and poultry tariffs in Canada.”
He asked convention attendees to talk to Canada’s Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay “to get our partner to the north to get the deal done for them and for you.”
The remarks closely echo those of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who said in the fall that he was “surprised and disappointed” by the resistance of Mexico and Canada to updating NAFTA.
Both nations have complained that many of the U.S. proposals put forth early in the talks were non-starters.
NAFTA negotiations are headed for their sixth round later this month in Montreal.
Source: The Hill