OTTAWA — The push for the speedy passage of the new NAFTA is getting a boost from a big advertising campaign in the United States.
An alliance of U.S. companies, trade associations and lobbyists launched a series of TV commercials and digital ads Monday that it hopes will inspire more Americans to push their congressional representatives to ratify the continental trade agreement.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, if ratified, will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The deal, signed by the three countries’ leaders in November, must be approved by Congress before it comes into force.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called on Congress to support the new deal, which he argues will lift the American farm sector, bring back lost manufacturing jobs and reinvigorate the auto industry.
The campaign by the “Pass USMCA Coalition” promotes what the group sees as the deal’s economic benefits. It arrives as Trump’s trade czar, Robert Lighthizer, expands efforts to meet with Democrats in Washington to discuss their concerns about the agreement.
The coalition’s 16 members include the Canadian American Business Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Chicken Council, Dow and Domino’s Pizza.
Its honorary co-chairs are former New York congressman Joe Crowley and Gary Locke, who served as U.S. ambassador to China, commerce secretary in the Obama administration and governor of Washington state. Both are Democrats, but Rick Dearborn, Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, is the coalition’s executive director.
The initial 30-second TV ad, set to run for three weeks in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., tells viewers that a “new era of economic and creative prosperity is within reach.”
“The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement will level the playing field for our workers, consumers and farmers with more free markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth,” says the ad, which cost just over US$1 million. “By increasing exports, raising wages and accelerating innovation, it will propel U.S. trade into the 21st century.”
It then calls on voters to contact lawmakers and urge the deal’s swift ratification.
Trump administration officials, including Lighthizer, have been meeting Democrats in hope of securing bipartisan support for the USMCA.
Democrats, empowered by their new majority in the House of Representatives, and some Republicans have said they won’t vote for NAFTA 2.0 in its current form.
Among the complaints, Democrats say the agreement lacks labour and environmental enforcement measures, and some don’t like its extended drug-patent protections. To enact the deal, U.S. officials say those congressional concerns will have to be dealt with in so-called side letters or in the bill Congress eventually votes on.
Last Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Economic Club of Washington that Lighthizer has been “really very respectful” in his efforts and has listened to members on both sides of the aisle.
Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
Daryl McIntyre talks Equine health Thursday at 7PM on the “Raised With Care” sessions
“…The more we know about our animals and our responsibilities to them, the better care we can provide. This, in turn, helps produce a better product and a stronger industry…” Alberta Veterinary Medicine Association
The Raised With Care sessions are a series of live-streaming interactive conversations with Alberta livestock owners about stewardship strategies that contribute positively to antimicrobial stewardship and animal welfare.
The sessions will explore four main areas of animal health: Vaccines, Healthy Facilities, Identifying Issues in Animal, and Impact of the relationship with veterinarians, veterinary technologists and the team at veterinary practices.
“We are talking equine health on Thursday with Dr. Greg Evans,” says host Daryl McIntyre. “The focus is on anti-microbial (anti-biotic) stewardship and general horse health.”
Sept 10 | 7PM – Equine
Sept 17 | 7PM– Apiculture
Sept 24 | 7PM– Dairy
Oct 1 | 7PM – Small Ruminant Animals
Oct 8 | 7PM-Poultry
Oct 15 | 7PM– Pork
Oct 22 | 7PM– Backyard Agriculture
Oct 29 | 7PM– Companion Animals
Experience Alberta Agriculture with Open Farm Days 2020
Open Farm Days returns to Alberta this Saturday and Sunday for its 8thannual provincial agriculture event. Hosted by the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies in partnership with the province and Travel Alberta, Alberta Open Farm Days is an invitation from farmers, ranchers and brewers across the province for locals to come experience a day in agriculture.
Alberta is home to 31.3% of the total farmland across Canada, and the Alberta agriculture industry employs more than 50,000 people throughout the province. On August 15 & 16, Albertans will have the opportunity to meet those responsible for putting food on their table, while exploring Alberta’s agricultural roots and how they inform daily life across the province and the country.
Visitors can explore everything from produce, meat and dairy production, to the machinery and technology behind planting and harvesting crops, to what goes into their favorite local beers. Open Farm Days gives locals the chance to learn about and experience first-hand the processes that provide them with the products they rely on.
Every year, thousands of people province-wide venture outside of city limits to take part in Open Farm days. This year, 75 farms from Grand Prairie to Lethbridge will be participating, offering activities, demonstrations, tours and hands-on experiences for all ages. “It’s a great opportunity for people who are not familiar with farming to connect the dots between local agriculture and their products,” says Nicola Doherty, Marketing Coordinator for the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, “it really fosters an appreciation for all the products grown and produced here in Alberta.”
Along with promoting agricultural education and awareness, Open Farm Days also increases support for Farm to Table and Support Local initiatives by allowing people the opportunity to experience local products straight from the farm. “People are often shocked by the amount of work that goes into these products,” says Doherty, “for farmers, this is their every day – but for non-farm folk, they are in awe.”
In order to operate safely within provincial guidelines, Open Farm Days will look a little different this year. To remain in compliance with COVID-19 regulations and ensure proper social distancing, Alberta Open Farm Days has transitioned to scheduled visit times for this year’s event. Learn how to schedule your visit here.
This weekend, take the opportunity to escape the city and do something different – spend the day on a farm! Visitors are encouraged to bring cash, a cooler and dress for the weather.
For more information on Alberta Farm Days 2020, visit https://albertafarmdays.ca.
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.
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