The first round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) concluded this week in Washington, D.C., after officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico conducted discussions on more than two dozen negotiation topics related to updating the 23-year-old trade pact. IDFA and other industry stakeholders engaged with U.S. negotiators throughout the talks, which will resume for a second round September 1-5 in Mexico City.
In this short timeframe, IDFA will continue to take full advantage of opportunities to interact with negotiators and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, is the dairy processor representative on the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and remains on tap to advise U.S. officials on the industry’s priorities throughout the negotiations.
Maintaining the U.S. dairy industry’s export market in Mexico is the top priority for IDFA in the renegotiation efforts. IDFA also continues to call for negotiators to address the industry’s concern with Canada’s use of new milk pricing policies that undercut skim milk powder prices on the international market, to eliminate steep tariffs and to seek greater dairy market access to Canada.
Moving forward, negotiators from each country will conduct domestic consultations and work to advance negotiating text through the end of August. Following the second round of talks in Mexico, negotiators plan to convene in Canada in late September and in the United States again in October.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.