CHEAP SEATS: It’s time for NAFTA to be back on the table
US President Donald Trump says he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. He says it's outdated and there are many issues that need to be resolved. And in this rare case -- He's exactly right.
NAFTA is more than 20 years old and the world has changed in many ways. That impact everything from trade to border security.
And while there are fears on both sides, it is unquestionably time for some big issues to be placed back on the table.
Ironically, the biggest two issues raised by Trump recently are dairy and softwood lumber. And neither of those two is adequately covered under NAFTA to begin with.
Dairy is dealt with in Canada under a system of what is called supply management. And softwood lumber disputes with the US involve the Crown Land Designation which the US says means the price for land used for logging operations is artificially low.
Trade is anything but free between NAFTA's three partners. It involves separate clauses for many protected items. Designed to protect key industries, while leaving others to fend for themselves. And it was done without any idea of how the markets would evolve with changing technology.
It will be a full three months before talks begin, but NAFTA's flaws, including conflict resolution have been waiting for improvement since it took effect in 1994. Hopefully we get a better deal that we aren't stuck with for another 20 years.
I’m Paul Martin, and that’s how I see things. taking the time to sit in Bill Glisky’s Cheap Seats.
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