The United States, Mexico, and Canada completed the second round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks, a five-day meeting that ended on Sept. 5 in Mexico City. While media reports suggested considerable differences on key issues, the lead negotiators signaled solid progress. At a press conference following the talks, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “I am hopeful we can arrive at an agreement that helps American workers, farmers, and ranchers, while also raising the living standards of workers in Mexico and Canada.”
The third round of talks is set to take place Sept. 23 – 27 in Ottawa. Retaining zero tariff rates and the enormous benefits realized by the U.S. economy, agriculture industry, and pork sector are among NPPC’s top trade advocacy priorities. The National Pork Producers Council said withdrawing from NAFTA would cost the U.S. pork industry $1.5 billion.