May 11, 2018

Ryan: Need NAFTA Deal by May 17

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Negotiations around the next version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been going on for several months, but Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R - Wis) says a deal needs to be reached soon if this Congress is going to vote on it. He gives negotiators until May 17 to come up with a deal. 

In a Bloomberg story posted on AgWeb, the deadline Ryan poses allows time for the Trump administration to  send a letter to Congress giving 90 days notice of its intent to sign a deal. Text of a deal must be published 30 days after that. Some observers believe that the deadline is rather soft, stating that a deal done in late May or early June could still be voted on by Congress. 

With regard to dairy negotiations within NAFTA, the Canadian Class 7 pricing system still needs to be addressed, and a last minute push could be in the works. “We are very confident that Ambassador Lighthizer has agriculture's best interests at heart," says Ray Starling, special assistant to the President for Agriculture & Agriculture Trade. "We are also very confident that Canada knows that this is an issue that we care deeply about. So, I don't think I'm giving away the farm when I say Canada will make us work for this.”