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Sask. concerned by trade agreement between U.S. and Mexico
Published Tuesday, August 28, 2018 4:35PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, August 28, 2018 6:55PM CST
The provincial government is raising concerns about the recent bi-lateral trade agreement between the United States and Mexico.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced Monday that the two countries had reached an “understanding” on trade. Trump also threatened further tariffs on Canadian products, including automobiles.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is encouraged by what he’s calling progress trade talks with Canada’s NAFTA partners. The White House wants Canada to endorse the president’s NAFTA replacement by the end of the week.
Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan Minister of Trade and Export Development, is calling on Ottawa to make a move, since he feels the country might be losing leverage.
Harrison says Saskatchewan and its products need to be protected. He criticized the federal government for letting the province down in recent negotiations with countries where Saskatchewan products made up a large portion of the agreement. Specifically, he spoke about derailed talks with China on trade liberalization issues, and new tariffs imposed by the Indian government.
“We have seen massive tariffs imposed on our pulse products, on our chickpeas, particularly in the wake of the prime minister’s tour in February,” Harrison said. “We saw new chickpea tariffs put in place and that impacts Saskatchewan very directly and disproportionately. So, I’m concerned with the trend we’ve been seeing, including no new market access since 2015. In fact, we are going the wrong way.”
Harrison says the provincial government is only able to voice Saskatchewan’s concerns, but ultimately negotiations are in the hands of the federal government. He’s hoping for long term accessibility to exports of agriculture products and manufactured goods.
With files from CTVNews.ca