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Michigan Waiting To See If Canada Joins Revised NAFTA Negotiations

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Flickr - Keith Cooper

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might be in for a shakeup – and Michigan could feel the effects.

President Donald Trump has been negotiating with the US’s neighbors to the north and south. Mexico, the US and Canada have been trying to negotiate a new trade deal for about a year.  While Mexico seems to be on board with small changes – the bigger impact on Michigan has to do with Canada.

Michigan State University professor, Charles Ballard said a trade deal with Canada is essential to Michigan. He said if it goes away, “That would be a huge blow to the Michigan economy. Because that supply chain, especially in the auto industry which is now, essentially, fully integrated across the border, now you’d have to pay tariffs.”

Ballard says it’s likely that negotiations with Canada will be similar to the deals being struck with Mexico – minor tweaks and at the end of the day, a deal that’s close to what is already in place.

Michigan’s agricultural industry is also hoping the US locks up an agreement with Canada.

John Kran is with the Michigan Farm Bureau, and he said they’re excited that it looks like President Donald Trump has reached a trade agreement with Mexico. But they’re hoping now Trump will reach an agreement with Canada.

“The sooner we can have these reassurances, the better position we are as Michigan agriculture, especially as we move into our harvest season,” Kran said.

The agriculture industry has been strained lately. The federal Department of Agriculture recently announced it will pay 4.7 billion dollars to farmers who grow soybeans, cotton, and other products that were hit by Trump’s trade war with China.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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