Illinois Ag Perspectives on Trade Matters

Concerns about agricultural trade continue to weigh heavily on farmers in Illinois and across the country as renegotiations over NAFTA finished up their sixth round in Montreal, Canada (Torry, Feb. 5, 2018). Despite some recent progress on telecom and digital trade, other recent developments have witnessed threats from the Canadian Prime Minister and the continued stumbling block of dairy trade (Bowden, Feb. 3, 2018; PBS News Hour, Feb. 3, 2018). Further complicating the trade discussion, two weeks ago Canada announced that it would join the ten remaining countries and sign a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This newly revised version, now named the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), will be signed in March by 11 of the original 12 TPP members (i.e., all original members except the U.S.). The CPTPP may provide both Canada and Mexico more leverage in the NAFTA negotiations because both will be part of a trade agreement that gives them better access to nine other markets. 

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