U.S. Jabs Canada on Trade Deal

By Kirbyson, Geoff | Winnipeg Free Press, April 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

U.S. Jabs Canada on Trade Deal


Kirbyson, Geoff, Winnipeg Free Press


LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman is optimistic Canada and the United States can put aside some differences and hammer out a historic trade deal.

The long-running trade relationship between the two countries is too important to sacrifice as negotiations continue toward a 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

"I certainly hope the U.S. and Canada can come to a mutually beneficial agreement," said Heineman, the longest-serving governor in the state's history. "I believe the relationship between the U.S. and Canada is very strong and we want it to continue to be very strong. We hope we can work out these agreements where both countries are satisfied."

The U.S. government, however, said Canada is playing hardball on agriculture. The U.S. administration's trade representative provided an update Thursday on negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

"On Canada, it's the only country in TPP that has not yet given us a market-access offer on agricultural issues like dairy and poultry," Michael Froman told a congressional panel.

"We are pressing them to do so, because those are important priorities for us... We're addressing their priorities in a number of ways, and we want them to come to the table as part of an overall package."

The TPP is a proposed trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Its goal is to enhance trade and investment among the dozen nations as well as create jobs, spur economic growth and promote innovation.

Canada's supply-management system sets limits on the production and importation of certain products, potentially limiting choices and bargains for consumers while protecting farmers.

Canada has already promised to relax some of the import limits on European cheese in its recently concluded trade agreement with the European Union, and the Americans appear to expect similar concessions. …

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