US: Conaway, Peterson host NAFTA roundtable with ag industry leaders

On November 7, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN-7) welcomed leaders of eight agricultural stakeholder groups to discuss the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in advance of the upcoming negotiations in Mexico City. Following the roundtable, Conaway and Peterson offered the below remarks:

“All parties today were on the same page – NAFTA is important to agriculture and agriculture must remain a top priority in the negotiations. I am hopeful that both Canada and Mexico will come to the next round of negotiations prepared to have substantive conversations. We are eager to conclude these negotiations and to move on to inking new agreements that expand trade opportunities for American agricultural producers,” said Chairman Conaway.

“I’m supportive of efforts to renegotiate NAFTA but we need to make sure the end result will work for agriculture and that we don’t cause any harm to agriculture markets. I’m particularly concerned about the impact Canada’s supply management program, which they were allowed to continue under NAFTA, is having on U.S. dairy and poultry producers. I have expressed my concerns to the administration and urge them to continue working to get these farmers a fair deal. We can’t go backward,” said Ranking Member Peterson.

The roundtable continues the House Agriculture Committee’s efforts to ensure agriculture’s interests are well accounted for in NAFTA renegotiations. This is the second roundtable held this year in addition to a full committee hearing on NAFTA. Last month, Chairman Conaway led a congressional delegation to Ottawa, Canada to meet with Canadian officials to discuss top agriculture priorities.

Leaders present at today’s roundtable included:
  • Mr. Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Mr. John Bode, President & CEO, Corn Refiners Association
  • Mr. Michael Dykes, President & CEO, International Dairy Foods Association
  • Ms. Shawna Morris, Vice President – Trade Policy, National Milk Producers Federation
  • Mr. Nick Giordano, Vice President and Counsel – Global Government Affairs, National Pork Producers Council
  • Mr. Tom Sleight, President & CEO, U.S. Grains Council
  • Mr. Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association
  • Mr. Charles Jefferson, Vice President – Federal Relations, Wine Institute

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