U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement / 13th Congressional District candidate Brent Ottaway (D)

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In this Oct. 17, 2017, file photo, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, center, with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, left, and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, right, speaks during the conclusion of the fourth round of negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington. U.S. and Canadian negotiators are working long hours to keep Canada in a North American trade bloc. Freeland resumed talks Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, with Lighthizer. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, October 16, 2018:

Negotiations for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) were finalized last month when Canada agreed to join the U.S. and Mexico in a trade deal that replaces NAFTA. Legislatures in all three countries must ratify the deal before it becomes official and it is almost certain to face a very vigorous debate in the U.S. Congress.

There are certain areas of the agreement that are grabbing attention, and some involve the auto industry. The USMCA tightens the “rules of origin” for parts requiring that more parts must be sourced from North America, even if they can be found cheaper somewhere else. The trade agreement also states that a minimum amount of the car must be produced by workers earning above a certain wage. This rule is especially important in Mexico, a source of cheap labor for automakers. Some critics say that this requirement could cause prices to rise for cars built in North America.

The USMCA is expected to give the U.S. greater access to Canada’s dairy market, a vital issue for U.S. dairy manufacturers and a key component to the trade negotiations.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss how this new agreement will impact Pennsylvania agriculture are Mark O’Neill, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, member farmer Paul Hartman, Berks County, and Jayne Sebright, Center for Dairy Excellence.

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Jayne Sebright and Mark O’Neill


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Dairy cows, Scattered Acres farm, courtesy of Facebook @scatteredacresinc

Also, the 2018 U.S. elections will be held (mostly) on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. These midterm elections take place in the middle of President Donald Trump’s first term. Nationally, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested. Pennsylvania voters will go to the polls for the Governors’ office, as well.

Smart Talk invited the candidates for the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Governors office to appear on the program so that voters can hear where they stand on the issues.

Congressional candidate for the 13th Congressional District Brent Ottaway (D) joins us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk.


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Candidate Brent Ottaway (D)