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Opponents of NAFTA Encouraged to Consider Its Benefits for Agriculture

27 January 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - The Vice-Chair of Manitoba Pork is encouraging those who have concerns with NAFTA to look at the benefits the agreement has created for agriculture and follow that lead, writes Bruce Cochrane.

This week's announcement by US President Donald Trump of the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement were key topics of discussion as representatives of Manitoba Pork took part in the 2017 Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines.

Rick Bergmann, the Vice-Chair of Manitoba Pork says there's widespread agreement within the pork sector in both Canada and the US that NAFTA has been working well for agriculture.

Rick Bergmann-Manitoba Pork:

On the agricultural forefront, when you hear comments about NAFTA not being a good deal or there's trouble with NAFTA, in the agricultural sector specifically the pork sector, I have heard no comments of anything negative within that agreement.

It's a 23 year old agreement and it has benefitted us dramatically.

We've had conversations with producers on the value of that, we've had conversations with industry and some governments about the value of that as well.

We really believe that, when there's something as positive as agricultural trade through the NAFTA agreement, if there are any areas within that agreement that show weakness, I think there's opportunity for those people to look at how successful ag has been and maybe they could implement some of the things we have done in a way to enhance trade in such a positive way.

Bergmann says, in the wake of the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we can expect a greater focus on bilateral agreements.

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