U.S. and Canada renew NAFTA negotiations
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Wednesday marked a renewal of the negotiations between the United States and Canada on the North American Free Trade Agreement — negotiations that will be particularly relevant for the North Country economy.
“The U.S.-Canada economic partnership is the single greatest driving force in the overall North Country region,” wrote North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas in an email to the Watertown Daily Times. “It is the reason that we have economic growth opportunities that are unimaginable in most similar rural regions.”
Many elected officials are using the negotiations as a chance to advocate for improvements to this partnership, particularly Canada’s protectionist attitude towards dairy.
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Cobb weighs in
On Tuesday, Ms. Stefanik’s Democratic challenger, Tedra Cobb, shared her thoughts on the trade negotiations after a press conference.
“The opportunity we have with re-negotiations is to engage labor,” Cobb said. “The opportunity we have is to make sure we are engaging with all the people — farmers and labor — all the people who have a stake in those renegotiations. To me, government is not about throwing out trade agreements, it’s not about throwing out health-care policies, it’s about making them better.”
Cobb also said any new version of the agreements would have to avoid creating job losses.
“The question going forward is, how do we make sure that doesn’t happen?” she said. “Any negotiation has to make sure that the environmental regulations we are using in the United States are being used elsewhere, that the labor protections we have are being used elsewhere, so the playing field is even.”