Organizations from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have sent a joint letter to trade negotiators
By Diego Flammini
Wheat organizations from all NAFTA member countries are encouraging trade negotiators to finalize a successful trade agreement.
Cereals Canada and Western Canadian Wheat Growers, along with the American Bakers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, North American Millers’ Association and U.S. Wheat Associates, have written a joint letter addressed to the three federal trade ministers.
Mexico’s Cámara Nacional de la Industria Molinera de Trigo (National Chamber of Wheat Industry) also signed the letter.
The document outlines some of the benefits the continent’s wheat industry has enjoyed since the implementation of NAFTA’s.
“The key critical message is that NAFTA has been beneficial to agriculture in all three countries,” Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada, told Farms.com today. “Farmers in Canada, the United States and Mexico are better off and they will be harmed if the agreement falls apart.”
Mexico imported 3.3 million of U.S. wheat and almost 20 per cent of Mexico’s total wheat imports came from Canada, according to the letter. Canada and the United States supply more than 60 per cent of wheat for the Mexican milling and baking industries.
The groups released the letter one day after Canada announced its intentions to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Canada exported more than 14 million metric tonnes of wheat in the 2016-2017 crop year, according to the Canadian Grain Commission.
Entering the TPP agreement is an important step in ensuring Canada’s wheat farmers have export opportunities should NAFTA come to an end, Dahl said.
“Canada … ships wheat to over 100 countries around the world. TPP is critically important for us as a trading nation. Securing markets like Japan are also important,” he said.
Members of the TPP have indicated the deal could be finalized by early March.