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by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 02, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Following more than a year of concerns over trade pacts President Trump has either pulled the U.S. out of or threatened to pull out of, could there be some good news around the corner?

Rumors have been coming from various Washington D.C. sources that negotiations in the North American Free Trade Agreement are going well and an agreement could be close.

Representative Dan Newhouse says he’s hearing the same buzz …

NEWHOUSE … “I’m cautiously optimistic that that’s the case, that the administration has been telling us for the last few weeks that they are very close and, I don’t have a date certain, but the word is that there’s just a few things to tie up and they should have a deal.”

Newhouse says if the talk is true, that would be great news for growers everywhere, and growers in his district would be elated …

NEWHOUSE … “So, I think that, you know, NAFTA has become a, Canada and Mexico are critical markets for products from the Pacific Northwest so, you’re right, if we can seal this deal, so to speak, I think there’ll be a sigh of relief breathed collectively throughout the region. And that’s the indications that I’m hearing too. I met with the trade negotiator, Mr. Lighthizer, just a week ago and he indicated to me that they were close. And so, we’re anxiously awaiting an announcement of that.”

Many have been skeptical a NAFTA deal would be completed before the November election when candidates prefer to avoid controversy, but with added pressure from President Trump, Mexico and Canada stepped up talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the past week.

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