The recent round of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations saw progress on agriculture issues. Negotiators wrapped up discussions regarding sanitary and phytosanitary measures, according to AFBF Economist Veronica Nigh.

“Those are basically the scientific rules that govern trade in plants and animals,” Nigh said in a recent Newsline. “That chapter actually closed and that means negotiations are finished. And, when we spoke with the U.S. negotiators they were pretty happy with the results that they got out of Canada and Mexico.”

The NAFTA chapter on technical barriers to trade, including things such as labeling, is close to being finished. However, there is much work yet to do regarding market access.

“We’ve had a lot of concerns about the access U.S. dairy farmers and poultry producers have in Canada,” Nigh explained. “We’ve asked Canada to give us significant new availability to send our products to their customers. And, so far, we’re having quite a lot of resistance to that. So, that will probably be one of those topics that is concluded at the very end because it is such a thorny issue for our Canadian friends.”