Alberta MLA heads to New Mexico to talk trade with U.S. officials

Edmonton-Decore MLA Chris Nielsen is heading to Santa Fe, N.M. on Thursday to discuss trade between Alberta and the United States at a committee meeting of the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization that serves members and staff of U.S. state governments.

The trip comes after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his dissatisfaction over dairy-related trade issues with Canada on Tuesday.


READ MORE: Donald Trump takes aim at Canada’s dairy industry

“Time and again Canada has demonstrated its disregard of its dairy commitments to the United States – hampering America’s exports to Canada – while pursuing ways to use its government-controlled system to unfairly dump greater Canadian exports in global markets,” Trump said.

Trump also said he wants to do more than just tweak the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump suggested he is seeking “very big changes” to the trilateral pact with Canada and Mexico.

READ MORE: Why did Donald Trump attack the Canadian dairy industry?

Nielsen is expected to “highlight the importance of bilateral trade” in a meeting with the NCSL Executive Committee’s International Relations Task Force, the provincial government said Wednesday.

The MLA is attending the meeting on behalf of Trade Minister Deron Bilous, who is currently on a trade mission in Asia.

READ MORE: Premier Notley heads to Asia to promote Alberta energy, discuss climate change

“Alberta and our partners in the United States have a long history of collaboration,” Nielsen said in a statement.

“Working with organizations like NCSL provides opportunities to strengthen trade relationships, and highlight the mutual benefit they provide, while we continue to advocate for Alberta’s interests at a national level.”

The government estimated the cost of Nielsen’s trip at $3,560.

Nielsen will return to Edmonton on Sunday.