Skip to main content

tv   NAFTA and Agricultural Policy  CSPAN  August 19, 2017 10:04am-10:56am EDT

10:04 am
a prize of $750 for her documentary on gender inequality. , an honorable mention price of $250 for her documentary on the relationships between the police and the media. thank you to all of the students who participated in our 2017 studentcam video documentary competition. to watch any of the videos, go to and 2018 version starts in september with the theme, the constitution and you, we asked students to choose any provision of the u.s. constitution and create a video creating why the provision is so important. -- illustrating why the provision is so important. >> the u.s., canada, and mexico this week begin a new round of talks to modernize nafta. , representatives from the farming and rich industries held a news conference to voice their
10:05 am
support for the 23-year-old agreement and talk about its impact on agriculture. from the national press club in washington, d.c., this is just under one hour. >> good afternoon. i am will roger, the director of policy communications at the american farm bureau federation. negotiators today from the three member states of nafta will begin renegotiating a treaty that is more than 20 euros old. -- 20 years old. much is at stake, particularly here --culture agriculture. today, we have with us the three heads of the largest farm organizations in canada, mexico, and the united. they are the president of the american farm bureau federation, the president of the canadian federation of agriculture, and president of the federation in mexico.
10:06 am
these men will give their views of what should happen with modernization of nafta, for no matter what you may have heard, there is still a great deal of our three nations have in common and can agree upon. the three presidents will give their opening remarks. after that, we'll have a sign of a letter to the ambassador as well as the minister and secretary, chief negotiator for the treaty. after that, we will open the floor to questions. if you have a question here at the press club, please wait for the microphone so that people on the phone can hear the question that you are asking. the floor is yours. >> well, thank you, will, and thank all of you for attending today. this is a very important day for american agriculture, canadian agriculture, and mexican agriculture, and we come today to show our unity together. i want to thank these two for
10:07 am
being with us today and joining us in talking about modernization of nafta trade its modernization of nafta trade treaty. i want you gentlemen and everyone in the room to know that american former senators -- farmers and ranchers value our trade relationships with our two closest neighbors. canada and mexico are more than just close. they are our number one and number three customers of the united states, agricultural products, exports. and they are the top two suppliers of u.s. agricultural imports. clearly, our trade relations are important to all of us on the stage here. we have a vital interest in helping our neighbors make improvements, our negotiators make improvements, but also to do no harm to the gains that we have gained in nafta. we are committed to preserving
10:08 am
and expanding upon the gains agriculture has achieved, and ensure a modernized nafta continues to be a success story for north america farmers and ranchers. we all want timely enforcement of trade agreements and prompt resolutions to disputes that might arise in this new modernization treaty. usda predicts u.s. agricultural exports will total $137 billion this year. the forecast of agriculture imports is $114.5 billion, giving us a trade surplus in agricultural products. and yes, i said a surplus, $22.5 billion. for all the criticisms of our trade deals, we in agriculture want our negotiators to know the trade deals and open markets are largely beneficial to american
10:09 am
farmers and ranchers, and to the communities that we live in and do our business in and raise our families. there will be opportunities during these negotiations to talk about issues concerning us with commodities. but it is important to enter these talks with cool heads and focus on the common goals that we have. the three groups that are here today agreed that trade helps all of our citizens and all of our farmers and ranchers in our countries, and we look forward to a better agreement for the future that is modernized for modern agriculture. thank you. will? >> next, we have the president
10:10 am
of the canadian federation of agriculture. >> thank you, will, and thank you to the american farm bureau for the hospitality. we had the opportunity to have lunch before this press conference, and i think it gave us an opportunity to exchange views on where things are going. and i think between these two, i think we realize that there is a lot of common ground we can build on. this morning, we heard the ministers and secretaries make opening remarks on of the renegotiation of nafta. i think it is interesting in the opening comments, we heard the word "agriculture" a number of times. with our leadership in all three countries recognizing that agriculture is important, we the farm leaders of all three countries must insist that the voices of the farmers and ranchers must be heard as these
10:11 am
negotiations proceed. i thank the press for coming out. i think this is an issue of great importance to the economies of all three countries. cfa, american farm bureau, and cna in mexico decided several weeks ago that it would be appropriate for us to try and find a common ground that we had when we move forward. and we have prepared a joint statement and a subsequent letter to our negotiators based on the principle of do no harm. for agriculture, nafta has been good. if we look at the changes since 1994, trade between our three countries has grown exponentially. we must build on the success. with canada, u.s., we have $56 billion in reciprocal trade, and the u.s. has a slight surplus at this time.
10:12 am
with mexico and canada, we have $4.2 billion in reciprocal trade, and again, mexico has a slight surplus. canada is the top export market for 29 u.s. states. as farm leaders, we have outlined common ground for a path forward. there are five areas we have agreed on. one, is a focus on increased and improved regulatory alignment. the second area is looking at improving the flow of goods at border crossings. the third is further alignment of science-based sanitary measures and sanitary measures, and that fancy term, human, plant, and animal health issues. the elimination of non-science-based technical areas of trade is another area we need to concentrate on. and adapting the agreement to technology advances that have been made since 1994. in 1994, the internet, digital economies, those types of things
10:13 am
were not even thought of. in closing, i would like to echo what was said this morning. we are neighbors, partners, and friends. we have a relationship based on trust and understanding. agriculture has been a success. and remember, do no harm. thank you. >> and finally, president of the consejo nacional agropecuario. american farm bureau, canadian federation -- members
10:14 am
of cna, we have the privilege of our three secretaries of , sonny purdue from the united states, mclaren from canada, they have been sending very good signals of work together as a team. first of all, at the georgia meeting, where the three of them were present, and recently in mexico, where mr. perdue and the other together. today, our secretaries are great examples of construction and understandable of the vital duty
10:15 am
of primary production in cordiality and respect, as today we are trusting ourselves that residents of the agricultural sector. i want to remember you that the national council of agriculture represents the 80% of take of mexico, and the 75% of the exports. as well as one million growers and producers, recognizing the united states and canada as great partners complementary.
10:16 am
i am the third generation of agricultural growers, and we have always been an american or canadian commercial partner. we understand that the primary production is vital for the economy of the three countries. we are the commercial bloc more successful of the world. and we will be together more competitive. making more stronger ties in north america. we can go out to countries, new markets in asia, south america, and europe. the national council of agricultural is in favor of the
10:17 am
morercial balance to be competitive. and the national council of agriculture will be looking always to maintain the competitive in the markets. we are committing to looking for better marketing in access into the three countries. the protocols should be treated as a byproduct in order of the
10:18 am
specialities and the risk of each one. the modernization of nafta should be -- to be make the stronger trade in the region and contribute to development of the partners. i celebrate that the true presidents of the private sector for agriculture of the three countries. we are together taking care of the main concerns of the sector, and we have a very clear from
10:19 am
the point of view of mexico, and we have been talking with the government that we are not agreed to the exchange point for any other economic activity. i'm very thankful for all of you being here, especially with the tight of your schedules, and you can count on mexico and the national council of agriculture to build together. thank you very much. >> thank you, gentlemen. he will now have a ceremonial signing of the letter, again, to
10:20 am
the ministers. gentlemen, if you'd like to sign.
10:21 am
[applause] >> thank you, gentlemen. >> thanks to the staff, too. >> thank you very much. >> ok, questions? >> very good, thank you, sir. so -- [laughter] >> so with that, we can open up the floor to questions. please wait for the mics so the people on the phone can hear you. who has a microphone? there you are. yes, go ahead. >> just to start off, i would
10:22 am
like to get your reaction to bob lighthizer's opening statement today when he said that although nafta had benefited u.s. farmers in border communities, it had fundamentally failed many, many americans, and would have to have major improvement, and that the tweaking and updating a few chapters would not be acceptable. what concerns does that raise in terms of the agricultural community and the possible trade-offs to get the changes he's talking about? >> well, of course it concerns us that we would have that mentioned upfront, but you know, our stand is that we do no harm. this has been a good trade treaty for north american agriculture, from mexico to canada, and we want to make sure we have that voice heard loud and clear, that we don't want to harm the gains that we have had in it. the president of the united states is my president, too, and is the president of the farmers
10:23 am
and ranchers across the country, who played a major role in getting him elected. he promised not only to make trade treaties more fair for the american people, but all american people. i don't see him doing harm to this treaty that has been good for agriculture. >> just on that statement, too, while there might be some concern, there is also positive news for agriculture in the fact that it was very much singled out that agriculture was a shining example of how the success could work, and i think back to mr. duval's statement about do no harm. i think we have to ensure that that message is loud and clear. and i think, in part, that is why the three of us decided very quickly that we needed to make a statement to the negotiators that we have got something that is working. don't do something in the negotiations that is going to
10:24 am
undermine that. because that is going to undermine not only farmers and ranchers, but also all of the jobs that are related to farming and ranching in all three countries. >> i had the opportunity to be at the press conference today in the morning. i was very glad to hear the ambassador mentioned several times agriculture, because that means the importance we have with products like corn, soy, recognizing the importance of the sector for the united states. and i think that is a very good signal from the beginning for
10:25 am
coming negotiations of our countries. >> you in the back. mic? >> please identify your organization. >> bloomberg radio. mention was made of improving regulation on the basis of science and abandoning other regulations of barriers to trade that are not technical. would you elaborate on what you mean by that? also, i get the impression from the american side that you all would be better off if trump had never raised this issue in the first place. would you tell me about that? if i may, i will pass the microphone to my colleague to
10:26 am
-- who outranks me as former president of the press club. >> from bloomberg news. i was recently in florida talking about some of the concerns and a have a different perspective on nafta. very concerned, and i direct this question about some of the concerns florida growers have with mexican shipments, labor rates, wages in mexico, food safety standards. i'm wondering if there's anything you can do to address those concerns without putting bad precedents for u.s. farmers? i'm wondering what areas you see as under discussion that would address some of the concerns of florida growers. that's like eight questions, good luck. >> do you want to speak to the
10:27 am
first gentleman. >> you talked about science-based and technical barriers. that can be a number of things. harmonizing regulations to the approval of has the size and -- pesticides and herbicides and making sure the scientific processes are the same so we don't have to go through a separate series of hoops on the approval of all types processes. you talk about technical barriers. one of the things we discussed at lunch was the idea of inspection services. if there is an inspection approved in one country, one inspection should suffice. it should not have to be reinspected every time it moves across the border. all of those types of things will streamline costs for producers and consumers of the products.
10:28 am
that goes back to the theory of building on what has been working and trying to streamline a lot of the processes on regulation and technical air so that technical barriers so we get closer to harmonization across all three countries. i hope that answers your question. mexico, we want fair trade with fair rules of commerce. the topic in the transferring way and based on science. we are agreed that our congress -- countries maintain the 19th chapter in the controversial solution.
10:29 am
in the labor topics, we consider each country should the -- be addressing their own things. mexico has an agreement with the international organization of work and is working very hard in all of this processes. >> mic? >> you want me to answer the question you asked? when it comes to the farmers in florida, the northeastern dairy farmers and the upper midwest, of course we have some concerns. what could i do to help change that -- all three of these organizations have very good
10:30 am
communications with our government. my communication is mostly through the secretary's office and we will keep him informed where we think there are issues that we can try to solve. it comes down to deciding that countries and for us to sound together as a strong region is important to show the rest of the world and it will be important in future negotiations and other trade treaties. we have to set our feelings aside and tell each other that we have problems and we do have a problem in florida and we do a problem in the northeast and we do have a problem in certain areas. then let's have some rules around the trade treaty that we have's with decisions on how we solve these problems because time means money to our farmers. we cannot afford for them to be in limbo when there's a problem. we have to bind together as a
10:31 am
region and discuss what our problems are with each other and find solutions and do it quickly. >> i will go into an analysis state-by-state. i'm interested in having their own particular vision in the global vision of the trade between mexico, the united states, and canada, mexico has winners and losers. the soya, the corn, and that beans growers in mexico, rice, there's a serious problem of competition. mexico is sending salads, some
10:32 am
meat, and we are receiving a very important volume of meat and grains. >> you mentioned chapter 19 dispute resolution. i think with any trade agreement, it is almost mandatory that there be a mechanism in place to deal with disputes when they arise. having a trade agreement that does not have some type of format for how you resolve dispute is creating a trade agreement that does not have any enforceability. i think from our perspective and , the canadian government perspective dispute resolution , is critical as it goes forward. penny starr with
10:33 am
breitbart news. on one of the lists here, you talk about the improved flow at border crossings. can you talk about how that it's in with border security in your concerns about that? >> i can start to make canadian perspective. i live very close to the u.s. border. one of the issues we find is holdups at the border, particularly with perishable products. a delay of several hours and you go from having a very valuable cargo to one that is worth nothing. finding ways to get a preapproved clearance, pre-inspection, electronic filing, using all the new technologies available so when the truck hits the border, everyone is preapproved. recognizing in the world we are living in you have to have security clearance. going intoe airport
10:34 am
the united states he other day and i saw people in the nexus line that are preapproved and they go through a lot faster than the people who do not have an access card. so a similar type of approach to goods being transported across the border doing at border as we are entries for people. >> to speak to the immigration issue, that's something i'm not an expert in and neither is my organization. we would leave that to the experts to handle that, but can speak to the issue that was just brought up and it was important that when we deliver our products to our neighbors that come in very good quality and that quality is definitely determined by how quickly and swiftly it can get through the borders. >> i believe we have the commitment of national security.
10:35 am
and breakthroughs in the field, the orient certification, transparency on the process and expedited supervision at the .order that would give us the security to contribute to the safety. >> i understand we have some questions on the phone. operators, if you could put the speaker on, name and organization, please? >> our first question coming
10:36 am
from reuters. please proceed with your question. >> hello, thank you for taking my call. concerned about the trump administration's fixation on reducing manufacturing trade deficits and how that might hurt ag interests which have benefited nafta? of course we carry that concern. the first question we answered was close to that. we have a concern but our approaches do no harm on what we have gained of point. we went from 8 billion dollars worth of trade to $38 billion worth trade during the lifetime of nafta. we want to do no harm to that and it possible, make it even better for all three countries agriculture-wise. we understand there are
10:37 am
manufacturing problems, and we will leave it up to the experts to have that conversation and continue to impress on them that we do not want them to use us as a trading tool and do harm to the agricultural sector in all three countries. >> the only thing i would add is the fact that by and large, agriculture trade is much more balanced than manufacturing trade is. we don't want to see agriculture sacrificed because of some other sector. we've done a good job taking advantage of opportunities. so, why should we be penalized for that? >> in mexico, we know that there is an obsession about the deficit. mexico is say that representing only a percent of the deficit -- only 8% of the deficit.
10:38 am
say, at leastcan 70% is from north american companies that are exporting to the united states. i know made in mexico has only 40% of components made in the region. and other parties have an integration of 8% to 12%. in the agricultural sector we have a lot of canadian and united states companies investing in mexico. they are exporting from mexico to their own countries and in the change value, in any case of
10:39 am
the exporters, into the destination country, either canada or the united states, there is an important commercial partner or investment for shareholders. >> thank you. can we hold on for another question from the floor, ?perator custom >> thank you. i am from politico. both the u.s. and mexico have said they want to finish negotiations as soon as possible, ideally before the end of the year because of upcoming elections in both countries. could you comment on whether that's a realistic timeline? also, if you could comment on
10:40 am
those longer negotiations, if they are drawn out, how that could impact agricultural markets. thank you. >> mexico has two plans. they first one is to conclude renegotiation or modernization of the agreement as soon as possible. readout affecting the sense of the free trade agreement. the ideal would be we would be finished at the end of january. but if not, we will wait until the timing and essence of the
10:41 am
trade will come. in the understanding that nafta will continue operating, we will wait. but as we say in aviation, in the very few case, in the on probable case -- o case that the , united states decides to quit nafta, mexico will work with the omc rules. wto. >> just one comment. canada doesn't have any elections, so i'm sort of caught in the middle here.
10:42 am
[laughter] however one of the things i , think is it's going to be a to the negotiators to determine what the timeframe is going to be as to when these are finalized. but our role is to ensure the concerns of farmers and ranchers in all three countries are hurt as we go through the negotiations. -- are heard as we go through the negotiations. one comment i would make is making sure as the negotiators go through this that any discussions that take place in the public built on the confidence of a trading relationship and not undermine that confidence. because every day we have farmers and ranchers shipping products back and forth across the border, trading with each other. anything that undermines that could really hurt the economy and hurt long-term planning or for how we move ahead. >> as you know, the farm economy is not really good in america right now. and uncertainty makes everyone on farmland very uncomfortable.
10:43 am
it is our desire and wish to make sure the modernization of this trade treaty happens quickly and let's get our discussions behind us so we can bring some certainty to the markets and have them plant the crop next year and be prepared for that. like i said earlier, time is money to farmers. having uncertainty is not helpful, and this is going to play a major role in those areas as we move forward. we highly encourage them to get it done, and get it done fast. we are looking for the successful modernization of this great treaty. >> operator, maybe we could take another question from those on the phone line. >> thank you. our next question coming from
10:44 am
jeff with cromwell ag network. please proceed with your question. >> thank you for taking our calls today. my question is, is the commonality discovered under the transpacific partnership before the u.s. withdrew, should that be the baseline for the of negotiations, or is epitome we might expect? >> we consider have big advances in the tpp that we can consider for the modernization of nafta. we know that 11 countries left. for both to continue with the
10:45 am
for mexico it was becauseortant for tpp to coordinate nafta with canada and the united states. >> you mentioned about tpp being a base. i'm not sure i would call it a base, but it outlines the scope of a modern trade agreement. the variety of using it as a base is that market dynamics have changed with the united states not being part of tpp. it would be very difficult to accept that as a base going forward. talking about the scope and some of the issues that were discussed might be something that is looked at, but i can't
10:46 am
it being used as a base. >> there is a lot of areas tpp agriculture was interested and excited about. so hopefully, there will be bits and pieces that could be used, but thinking the treaty would be used as a base, i don't think that would happen. we hope they pick up on the modernization of the treaty and bring it into the modernization of nafta. >> more questions from the floor? yes, sir. >> a follow-up question on tpp for the u.s. tpp,resident withdrew from so i think u.s. farmers are missing out on the benefits you are supposed to get from tpp.
10:47 am
what is your response on the possible u.s.-japan fta and what the trump administration is thinking about? trump,ink president obviously i haven't spoken directly to him, but hearing him speak about future trade treaties with other countries, i think it is possible. we are hoping other countries are interested in having those conversations. i would hope japan would be open to that discussion of having a bilateral treaty between your country and u.s. >> operator, do we have anyone still on the phone who wants to ask a question? >> we do have a question coming from the line of ellen ferguson from cq roll call. these proceed with your question. >> thank you all for having the conference. i wanted to ask about supply management. that has been a big concern
10:48 am
particularly for u.s. dairy farmers. poultry folks are also concerned. that seems to be an area it says it will defend. do you see, is there a potential canada might accept some changes to supply management? >> i think our government has been very clear, stating they are going to defend supply management. we stand behind that. one of the things that the three of us, when talking about putting together a joint statement, when you say to concentrate on those areas where we have a common interest, we a bridge.nd each has issues that we can bring forward. if we spent our time talking about these, all it would be is a family fight. the three countries operate in very close relationships and
10:49 am
we're going to have differences. i don't think it's bad to have differences and having a healthy discussion around those. >> bloomberg radio. we have time for one more question after this. thank you. in terms of doing no harm, from what you know of the negotiating position of the u.s. government would do harm short of withdrawing from the agreement and would you be better off if trump had never raised the issue? >> american agriculture is not seeking renegotiation or the modernization of this trade treaty, but once the election started and the rhetoric started around it and we have a new president that has that desire, then of course we look for
10:50 am
opportunities in the challenge for us. would we be better off? we won't know that until this trade treaty has been negotiated. hopefully mr. trump lives of to , -- lives up to his words and at the and of this negotiation, the farmers and ranchers across north america in all three of our countries will be even better off than we are today. we are going to go into this very optimistic and say if he accomplishes what he wants to do, our farmers will have certainty in the market and certainty where they will be exporting to and certainty and what they will be planning and producing next year. i think we have the opportunity to make something that is good , good for us in the past and make it better. [indiscernible] >> if you start swapping off the gains we have gained an american
10:51 am
agriculture for some other business sector, it could be harmful to american agriculture, or if we put pressure into another country that may make a decision to take their business elsewhere, it could do harm to our farmers. let's don't try to fix what's not broken, and the agricultural fees of nafta is not totally broken but it could take some attention in certain areas. >> i think when the discussion opened, i think ourselves in the canadian government recognized the agreement has been in place since 1994. a lot of things have changed. that's why when the three of our organizations got together and started identifying areas where we could make improvements, we are very specific about the types of things that would improve trade flows, harmonize regulations and those types of , things that likely should be a
10:52 am
-- should be updated. when you go that long, it needs to be looked at. our advice has been focused very much on those five recommendations. if those are achieved, it will likely make things better for farmers in all three countries. when president donald takes the decision on january 20, we celebrate 133 organizations of the farm bureau. to maintain nafta because from 1994 to this day the commerce , between the countries will have been increased .3 times.
10:53 am
that process has been the same process in mexico and canada. we are the most competitive area , and without agreement we are going to make more stronger asia, especially china, and we will decrease the competitiv ity in north america. >> is anyone left on the phone? anyone left on the floor? with that, thank you for coming. it has been a pleasure. you have my contact information. let us know if we can do anything to help.
10:54 am
>> sunday night on q and a, real clear politics washington bureau u.s. recounts events in history that happened on specific dates throughout the year in his book "on the state date."this heavy, it is uranium. it is the components of the atom bomb that will be dropped on japan in world war ii. obviously, top-secret. so top-secret that the navy doesn't do the normal things it has. this ship, after delivering its cargo, it heads out to rendezvous.
10:55 am
it doesn't get an escort. there is no destroyer escort. there are not enough people is missing.t it is sent into submarine-infested waters and is sunk. the story is that no one is whatng for them and happens. what happens is that they drown, they die of dehydration, sharks eat them. it is it terrible story. house minority whip steny to discuss the future of the obama administration program to allow certain undocumented immigrants who entered the u.s. as miners to remain in the country without the threat of deportation. those benefiting talked about the experiences and challenges that they faced. this is just over an hour. >> thank you very much.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on