April 19th, 2018

Senior U.S. legislator: new NAFTA must lower Canada’s ‘dairy wall’

By The Canadian Press on April 16, 2018.

WASHINGTON – A senior American lawmaker is pressing for changes that would open up Canada’s dairy market – and he wants them in place before his country agrees to any new NAFTA deal.

Senior Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has sent a letter on the issue to U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer.

Schumer says opening up the dairy market north of the border must be a top priority, and he’s urging the U.S. team to seize a rare opportunity to lower what he calls Canada’s dairy wall.

Schumer isn’t the only leading legislator for whom it is a priority; the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, is from the dairy-producing state of Wisconsin and also considers it a key issue.

Under U.S. law, American trade negotiators must consult with Congress, and will eventually need congressional votes to ratify a new deal.

Some people have suggested the countries could be weeks away from some sort of preliminary agreement on NAFTA, but others warn that serious issues like dairy remain unresolved.

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