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Minister Leal returns from U.S. tour on trade

After visiting seven states, Ontario Minister of Agriculture returns with positive words

By Kaitlynn Anderson

Farms.com

 

OMAFRA

Ontario Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal recently returned from his visit to the United States, where he discussed the importance of two-way agri-food trading relationships with Ontario.

The June tour covered Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Missouri. While the Minister only visited seven states, he met with 25 senior U.S. government state officials from 15 states and 21 American business leaders in the agri-food sector.

“We agreed that we must continue to invest in building and maintaining our positive agri-food trade relationship,” Minister Leal said in an interview with Farms.com on Friday.

“They certainly acknowledged how valuable NAFTA has been on the agricultural side, creating value-added jobs on both sides of the border.”

Officials agreed that NAFTA has increased wealth, created jobs and allowed for innovation in the agricultural sector for both Canada and the United States.

In Wisconsin, the Minister discussed the dairy oversupply problem.

“By and large, there is a recognition that there has been a cranking up of dairy production in the United States, creating this oversupply. In Wisconsin’s case, milk that was being produced in (the state) was being replaced with a cheaper milk that was coming in from places like New York.”

The people Minister Leal met with were very knowledgeable about Ontario and had a lot of respect for the province’s agricultural sector, he said.

Minister Leal’s work on trade continues into the fall.

“In October, I look forward to meeting both U.S. and Mexican leaders. We can’t forget about Mexico under the NAFTA umbrella. I’ll be meeting them at the Tri-National Agricultural Accord in beautiful Denver, Colorado.”


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