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Politics

Premier Moe says NAFTA needs an update not a rewrite following first U.S. summit

Premier Scott Moe travelld to his first summit with Mexican and American counterparts since becoming Premier May 4.
Premier Scott Moe travelld to his first summit with Mexican and American counterparts since becoming Premier May 4. Derek Putz / Global News

Premier Scott Moe is calling his first trip to the North American Governor’s and Premier’s Summit a success as he and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley discussed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with their American and Mexican counterparts.

“There was some business involvement as well, some industry involvement, displaying some examples of how NAFTA, as well as the relationship we have across North America are beneficial for our industries,” Moe said.

The premiers and governors met from May 4-6 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe attending first premier/governor’s meeting

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the free trade agreement, Moe said the undertone was all jurisdictions have seen benefit from NAFTA. However, change or an update may be a good thing.

“Twenty-five year old agreement, it is time for an update if you look at some of the changes into data, financial services, into how people move back and forth across our borders,” Moe said.

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“Definitely due for an update, but not a rewrite.”

This was Moe’s first meeting of this sort since becoming premier at the end of January. It was also his first face-to-face meeting with Notley.

The two have spoken on the phone several times since Moe’s successful Saskatchewan Party Leadership bid. Moe said they both advocated for the importance of getting their products to market.

READ MORE: Trump delays decision on tariffs for Canadian steel, aluminum

While both premiers have their political differences, they have been on the same side as of late when it comes to advocating for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Moe said they did not discuss that matter in great detail, as when they are abroad they’re representing Canadian, not just provincial, interests first.

“Between the two of us, we were the representation on behalf of the nation of Canada,” Moe said. “When we’re outside of the country it’s Canada first, all Canadians first, and I think we did a reasonable job.”​

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