Thursday, 16 November 2017 07:11

Canadian agriculture needs to be at full alert during negotiations

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I am disappointed when I read that Canadians like Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart are musing publicly about giving up access to Canada's grading system to U.S. farmers.
He asked only to keep market access that we already have. This is right out of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers playbook. I once heard the U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Gus Schumacher say, “You don't disarm before a battle,” when he was talking about trade negotiations with Canada.
The U.S. Trade negotiators see this NAFTA round as a battle they intend to win. If the U.S. wants access to our grading system, our first question should be “What are you willing to give up for this?”
Then Canada could decide if it is worth the exchange. Any Canadians who speculate about giving up something for nothing are disarming our negotiators.
Larry Hill, Swift Current

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