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If NAFTA isn’t broken, be careful how you fix it, says Minister MacAulay

If NAFTA isn’t broken, be careful how you fix it, says Minister MacAulay

Federal agriculture minister recently met with his U.S. and Mexican counterparts

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

After days of discussions with Mexican and American officials, a key theme in regard to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations emerged, according to Canadian Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay.

“The message I hear on both sides of the border is ‘be sure how you fix something that’s not really broken,’” MacAulay told reporters Friday.

MacAulay spent time in Oregon and Idaho promoting the bilateral trade relationship between Canada and the United States. He also delivered a keynote address at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Summit.


And with NAFTA renegotiations on the horizon, it’s important to understand the roles Canada, Mexico and the United States play in the agreement’s success.

MacAulay used an agri-food example to illustrate how all three countries work together to enhance the success of the trade agreement.

“Using a hamburger as an example, let’s say the meat comes from Calgary, the grain (for the bun) comes from the United States and, (during) many parts of the year, the tomato comes from Mexico,” he said. “Any time someone eats a hamburger, they’re eating something from the three countries.”

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its NAFTA negotiation objectives on July 17. The USTR outlined a number of ag-related objectives, including expanding trade markets and eliminating some tariffs.

MacAulay is confident Perdue’s previous experiences can help the negotiations progress smoothly.

“There’s absolutely no question Sonny Perdue knows the value of trade and appreciates the value of trade,” he said. “(He’s) been a Governor (of Georgia) for two terms and he’s a politician that’s fully aware of the value of NAFTA.”

Each week, nearly one billion dollars’ worth of ag-related goods cross the American/Canadian border, MacAulay said.

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