Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) President Ron Bonnett was in Washington this week, meeting with agriculture organizations and also with the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The renegotiation of NAFTA was one of the main focuses of the meetings.

Bonnett says that if NAFTA is reopened, it will be important to stay focused during negotiations.

“The message that we had talking to our US counterparts was, 'let's really be careful looking at this to make sure that if we're opening it up, we don't open up a can of worms where we get caught in some kind of debate on something that's not even related to agriculture'.”

He notes the consensus among those present at the meetings was that NAFTA has worked well for agriculture on both sides of the border.

Bonnet added agriculture policy and farm support programs were also discussed at the meetings.

“We talked to them about the development of their next farm bill, they hope to have that in place by the end of 2018, which is a pretty tight schedule and they're just going through some of the initial discussions now," he said. "I think they are going to face some pressure on the budget side to how they meet the demands that are coming forward for the new farm bill and matching up that with the need to control spending.”

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