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Saskatchewan experts respond to Trump’s ‘tweaks’ to Canada-U.S. trade agreement

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatchewan producers and exporters may be slightly more comfortable after the PM's meeting in Washington. – Feb 14, 2017

Before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump met Monday, members of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) were confident.

Some concern existed surrounding Trump’s protectionist approach to trade, though he called the trading relationship with Canada “outstanding.”

“We’ll be tweaking it. We’ll be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries,” Trump said.

WATCH BELOW: Trump says there will be ‘tweaking’ of trade deals with Canada

Click to play video: 'Trump says there will be ‘tweaking’ of trade deals with Canada' Trump says there will be ‘tweaking’ of trade deals with Canada
Trump says there will be ‘tweaking’ of trade deals with Canada – Feb 13, 2017

The remarks are positive news for Saskatchewan exporters, but they’ll need to remain vigilant, said STEP president and CEO Chris Dekker.

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“The devil is always in the details. So the level of the negotiations or the re-negotiations between our two countries on NAFTA, we’ll have to wait for the specifics to come out,” Dekker said.

 

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump strike cordial tone on trade in first meeting

Jeff Simpson, who farms in the Ruthilda, Sask., area called the United States a key market for Saskatchewan producers.

“We don’t want to see any changes with that. We certainly don’t want a lower amount of product going down there,” Simpson said.

He cited the softwood lumber agreement and country of origin labeling as past examples of trade struggles between the two nations.

“We do not want to go back to that,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘I’m hopeful:’ Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall sees positive trade signs with U.S.

On Monday, Premier Brad Wall stated he was hopeful and that both countries have “much to lose” if either is too protectionist.

“When we hear Americans concerned about job loss and trade issues, by and large, their reference to countries is limited to Mexico and China,” Wall said.

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The premier plans to discuss trade during a visit to Washington, D.C. in the coming months.

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