Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, José Calzada, issued the following statement at the conclusion of their bilateral meeting which took place in Calgary, Alberta on July 13, 2017.
Canada and Mexico are committed to creating a more integrated North American market for agriculture to help our respective sectors grow their businesses and remain globally competitive. Together, we have cultivated a robust bilateral agricultural trade relationship that is mature, balanced, and complementary.
Our meeting in Calgary provided a valuable opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to continue collaborating in areas of common interest such as science and technology, which is helping to advance key areas of research including climate change, and developing more disease resistant wheat and potato varieties. As a region and bilaterally, we have also coordinated in the areas of plant and animal health, trade of biotechnology products and improved regulatory cooperation.
We recognized the importance of expanding this type of collaboration, including through the Canada-Mexico Consultative Committee on Agriculture and the Canada-Mexico Agri-Business Working Group, to help ensure favourable market access conditions and increased trade of our agri-food products within North America and globally.
Canadian agri-food imports from Mexico (CAD$2.4 billion or US$1.8 billion) and Mexican agri-food imports from Canada (CAD$2.1 billion or US$1.6 billion) are balanced and complementary. For example, 95 per cent of all the avocados consumed in Canada are from Mexico. And over 90 per cent of canola seed imported by Mexico is from Canada.
We are stronger together. Working with the United States, we have created a trading relationship that is the envy of the world. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created a more competitive, prosperous and integrated agriculture and food industry across North America.
Canada, Mexico and the United States recently affirmed their shared commitment to collaboration and open and transparent markets during trilateral agriculture meetings held in Savannah, Georgia, in June 2017.
Our countries will continue to work together to show the world the benefits of an open-trade relationship that grows the economy and supports millions of jobs in North America.