Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 08, 2014 10:42 ET

Minister Ritz Highlights Importance of Open Trade at Tri-National Accord Meeting

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--(Marketwired - Oct. 8, 2014) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today addressed the 23rd Tri-National Agricultural Accord where he underscored the importance for all three NAFTA countries to recognize and promote free and unfettered trade to drive competitiveness, create jobs and generate economic opportunities.

Minister Ritz underscored the importance of ending the discrimination against Canadian cattle and hogs under mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). He remained steadfast on the fact that Canada is prepared to seek authorization from the WTO to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports if COOL is not resolved.

Provincial Agriculture ministers from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island as well as the Deputy Minister for Agriculture from Alberta are attending the annual two-day forum where senior state and provincial agricultural officials from Canada, the United States, and Mexico are meeting to discuss important trade and development-related issues that impact the three nations.

Quick facts

  • Since NAFTA came into force, the North American economy has more than doubled and agricultural trade has quadrupled to over a billion dollars a week.

  • The U.S. is Canada's top customer of our agricultural products with Canadian agriculture exports to the U.S. totalling $26.1 billion in 2013, while Mexico is our fifth-largest buyer, with $1.6 billion in Canadian agricultural products exported to the market in the same year.

  • Canada and the United States enjoy a strong trading partnership in agriculture. In 2013, $45.6 billion dollars in agriculture was traded bilaterally between our nations, $3.3 billion of which was cattle and beef.

  • COOL is costing Canadian and U.S. industry billions of dollars each year, due to inefficiencies, price discounts, lost sales and added costs.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to building on our recent trade successes by continuing to promote a fair, open and integrated North American market that operates under science-based rules and reduces barriers to trade. Trade drives our economies and that is why we must continue to work together to build on our integrated agriculture sectors and grow our collective economic competitiveness."

- Gerry Ritz, Agriculture Minister

Associated links

- Tri-National Agricultural Accord

- Joint Statement by North American Agricultural Leaders (May 19, 2014)

- Minister Ritz Highlights the Importance of NAFTA for a Competitive, Integrated North American Agriculture Industry (May 21, 2014)

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Contact Information

  • Jeff English
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059

    Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972