Dispute challenges testing added legal mechanisms in USMCA

An ag trade expert says current disputes with Canada and Mexico would not be possible without added legal processes negotiated in the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement.

Former assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative for Agriculture Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen tells Brownfield, “The USMCA process is much better than the NAFTA dispute process.” “Under NAFTA, any country could block and stop any work on a dispute if they didn’t agree to it,” she shares.

She says the agreement was the first time dairy trade with Canada was addressed after multiple negotiations.

“We always knew that that would be difficult, and it is proving to be not as easy as we had hoped as a result of USMCA, but hopefully we’re making some headway there,” she says.  

Bomer-Lauritsen says she is concerned about Mexico’s approach to crop protection tools and biotechnology.  She’s also following disagreements with Mexico’s energy provisions and labor issues and their spillover impact into agriculture.

Trade ambassadors from all three countries were in Mexico this week for the agreement’s third anniversary.

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