NAFTA was the focus of the 22nd Annual Fields on Wheels conference held earlier this month in Winnipeg.

Dr. Geoffrey Hale, professor at the University of Lethbridge, spoke about "intermestic" policies, which means looking at doing business domestically and abroad.

He talked about the importance of the western premiers working together when dealing with the United States.

"The western premiers can play a significant role in dealing with their counterparts in the National Governors Association, but they have to come together with a single message on particular issues, which means they have to get together and talk among themselves to get that message straight," explained Hale. "If we go to our American counterparts and we are saying a bunch of different things, they have no reason to listen to us."

Hale notes that former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer realized this during his time in office, which is one of the reasons why he was named as Canada's Ambassador to the United States.