Central Washingtonians had an opportunity Monday evening to get an update of the ongoing negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty. Jill Smail with the Secretary of State’s office, and lead negotiator in the trade talks was in Richland, discussing not only the process, but the overall importance of the five decade old treaty. Central Washington Representative Dan Newhouse, who pushed for the town hall, said while many elements of the CRT remain positive for both the U.S. and Canada, it’s time the agreement was refreshed.
“Things have changed since 1961 when it was first signed, and went into effect in 1964. Power rates have changed, the whole dynamic in the region is different, so it’s kind of like the NAFTA agreement, it needed an update after 24 years this has been now 55 years and it certainly needs to be updated.”
Newhouse added the CRT will impact Northwest Ag in a variety of ways, from irrigation, to electricity rates, to environmental concerns, and much more. The current CRT must be replaced by 2024.
Click Here to learn more about the Columbia River Treaty.
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