NAFTA Renegotiations Begin; Cooked Chinese Chicken Debate
**The top U.S. trade negotiator opened the historic renegotiation of NAFTA last week by bluntly warning the pact has “fundamentally failed many Americans” despite its benefits to farmers and border communities and needs “major improvement.”
U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer says President Trump “is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters.”
He acknowledged, however, that exports to Mexico and Canada are important to U.S. agriculture.
**Canada’s foreign minister says her country is committed to protecting its supply management system in the NAFTA negotiations, taking a hard line with the U.S.
Chrystia Freeland told reporters the U.S. exports about five times more dairy products to Canada than it imports.
National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern fired back saying Canada “cannot be allowed to maintain a system that establishes one of the highest milk prices in the world within its borders while using world markets as a dumping ground for its huge increase in production.”
**Groups for and against USDA’s proposal allowing China to export cooked chicken to the U.S. weighed in with opinions last week.
The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council support the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s proposal, arguing FSIS used “sound science and appropriate risk assessment” in assessing China’s slaughter facilities and its inspection system.
The Food & Water Watch, calls the audit of Chinese facilities, “contrived” and not based on any scientific evidence or risk assessment.