Five U.S. senators and 16 U.S. House members from the Pacific Northwest sent Secretary of State John Kerry a letter Aug. 11 urging the State Department to begin negotiations with Canada to modernize the Columbia River Treaty.
The State Department has stated it intended to start negotiations this year, but despite multiple letters from Congress urging it to do so and receiving regional recommendations almost three years ago, it has not, said Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., part of the bipartisan group that signed the letter.
“Treaty modernization and negotiations with Canada directly affect the economy, environment and flood control needs of communities we represent,” the legislators wrote in the letter.
The State Department needs to conclude a review process, approve negotiation parameters, press Canada to appoint a lead negotiator and begin negotiations, the letter states.
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