No USMCA sales to Canada, caution on China talks
Canadians are praising the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, but U.S. companies have made no new sales in Canada based on the agreement during a trade mission, Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney said in a call to reporters from Montreal today.
Canadian government and agriculture industry officials have said they are “pleased that there is an agreement” but that there had not been discussions about increases in dairy purchases or increases in any of the areas through which U.S. producers might benefit under the agreement, McKinney said. But he noted that wheat grading, poultry, wine and biotechnology provisions could also benefit U.S. agriculture.
The Canadian livestock industry is more interested in exporting to the United States because the Canadian government is limiting the number of hours that animals can spend on a train or a truck, McKinney said. Because Canada is so broad from the west, where most cattle are raised, to the big cities in the east, where consumers live, “north to south” transportation is more attractive, he said.
He also noted that Canadian officials have said the Canadian Parliament will not vote on whether to approve the agreement until the U.S. Congress has voted.
Reacting to an announcement that U.S. and Chinese negotiators will resume talks in October, McKinney also said that he is pleased about that development but “we need to proceed with a great sense of precaution.”
The Agriculture Department will also sponsor trade missions to Mexico, Ghana and Vietnam this year, McKinney said.
–The Hagstrom Report
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