NAFTA Renegotiations Get Underway Today - NCBA's Kent Bacus Hopeful for a Positive OutcomeWed, 16 Aug 2017 11:09:09 CDT
Starting today, Wednesday, the first round of renegotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement get underway. Trade Specialist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Kent Bacus, says this first round of meetings will be focused on setting the ground rules for the negotiations going forward. He spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about what expectations the cattle industry has for these meetings intended to modernize the 23-year-old treaty.
“Really, this first round is going to be about testing the waters and trying to set the parameters,” Bacus said. “We’ll have people covering all areas of the economy. It’ll be rooms full of lawyers and really they’re going to focus on each individual segment at a time.”
Bacus explains the process will likely begin with checking low priority items off the list that can be easily agreed to. NCBA hopes agricultural trade falls into this category, wanting nothing more from these negotiations than agriculture to primarily just be left alone. While at the same time, the more sensitive issues that will be discussed later in the negotiations will also be identified throughout the process. Bacus says most everyone involved is hopeful the renegotiation will be swift and uncomplicated, with an initial goal to have things wrapped up by the end of the year. However, he says the likelihood of that happening is really quite slim.
“That’s certainly what the world would like to see - But, just given the overall size of NAFTA, the fact that you have industries today that didn’t exist when NAFTA was first negotiated…,” he said. “There’s a lot of ground they’ve got to cover. Realistically, we’re probably looking at several months here.”
Listen to Bacus and Hays discuss NCBA’s hopes for the NAFTA renegotiations, as the first round of several meetings begin this week, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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