Experts: Dairy, lumber and NAFTA (***UPDATED***)


Published: 2Aug2017

“U.S. President Donald Trump's surprisingly caustic complaints about trade with Canada in recent days could be setting the stage for a broader renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement than previously advertised.” (Metro News)

Andrea Bjorklund, Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University

“The current softwood lumber case has less to do with President Trump than with structural differences in the U.S. and Canadian softwood lumber industries; the United States views crown ownership of land on which softwood lumber is grown as inherently subsidizing the production of that lumber. Along with last week’s dairy kerfuffle, however, it plays into his tough-negotiating ‘America first’ trope.”

She’s a renowned expert in international arbitration and litigation, international trade and international investment. She previously worked in the Legal Adviser’s Office at the U.S. Department of State and at the U.S. International Trade Commission. She holds the L. Yves Fortier Chair in International Arbitration and Commercial Law. 

Andrea.bjorklund [at], cellphone available upon request (English)

Krzysztof J. Pelc, Professor, Department of Political Science, McGill University

“While Trump's other initiatives are falling through, trade is something he can get support from Democrats on. He's on firmer legal ground—more on dairy than softwood—because Canada's measures on dairy are highly discriminatory. Paradoxically, if Canada gave in on dairy in exchange for the US dropping its recurring attacks on softwood in an eventual NAFTA renegotiation, the average Canadian would emerge better off.”

Professor Pelc research examines the international political economy, with a focus on international rules. He also look at the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

kj.pelc [at] (he’s in Europe right now, but reachable by email) (English, French)