North Dakota’s congressional delegation and Governor Doug Burgum are celebrating a preliminary trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The new deal would replace NAFTA. Automobile tariffs, milk market expansion and intellectual property protections are all addressed in the new deal.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Gov. Doug Burgum all released statements with their thoughts on the deal.
“Free and fair trade will strongly benefit our economy, while also providing much-needed certainty for our agriculture producers and other exporters. Throughout the negotiations, we’ve pressed the President and the administration to come to an agreement with both Mexico and Canada as soon as possible. We are pleased that the agreement eliminates the automatic downgrading of U.S wheat, an issue that we pressed repeatedly with the President and administration officials. We appreciate the administration’s resolve in securing a better deal for American industry and welcome Canada’s decision to join this agreement.”
“From the beginning of the renegotiation of NAFTA, which has been going on for over a year, I’ve been pushing for a deal that maintains North Dakota’s critical trade relationships with Canada and Mexico, our largest trading partners. The renegotiation was an opportunity to address several issues important to North Dakota agriculture. Over the past year, I’ve had many helpful and substantive meetings with the Canadian ambassador to talk through issues in NAFTA that I hoped could be addressed to support North Dakota farmers and ranchers. The new agreement is good news for wheat growers who would no longer face an unfair Canadian grading system – a change I’ve been pushing for – but it’s disappointing the concerns of cattle ranchers and potato farmers were not addressed. Additionally, this agreement doesn’t address the steel and aluminum tariffs which are still putting North Dakota’s energy industry and agriculture manufacturing equipment companies in jeopardy. Throughout the negotiation, I’ve been working with North Dakota agriculture producers to help them maintain their relationships with their buyers in Canada and Mexico, and I hope we can now move forward in a way that’s good for North Dakota’s ag economy.”
“I congratulate President Trump, Ambassador Lightizer and the entire negotiating team on this major victory for our country. This is a good day for the U.S. and a special day for North Dakota. Living next door to two Canadian Provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, North Dakota feels a special bond to our neighbor and we are grateful to our President and to Canada’s leaders for coming to this deal to mutually benefit our people. We owe a special debt of gratitude to our Mexican partners in this endeavor for joining us in building the foundation for this trilateral trade deal. I look forward to reviewing the text of the agreement in the near future and working with my colleagues to ensure its passage by Congress.”
Governor Doug Burgum said:
“We’re encouraged to hear that negotiators have reached consensus to update our trilateral trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. These countries represent North Dakota’s top two trading partners, totaling nearly $5 billion in exports annually, and the addition of Canada to the agreement will further solidify our relationship with our northern neighbor. We’re grateful to the administration for its continued efforts to expeditiously negotiate free and fair trade agreements that benefit American producers and consumers. I look forward to Congress approving an agreement that serves the best interests of North Dakota farmers and ranchers, who are among the best in the world and can compete with anyone on a level playing field.”