WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, recently met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Victor Villalobos, and Argentina’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Luis Basterra, as well as other leaders in agriculture, including the President of American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall. The meeting was meant to spur collaborative efforts among the Western Hemisphere Agricultural Group, also known as Ag5.
This alliance represents almost a quarter of global exports working to develop solutions to regulatory challenges. Facilitating trade through science-based rules will help farmers feed a growing world population, while driving industry growth and providing solutions to climate change.
“To help Canadian producers, processors and exporters succeed in global markets, it is essential to maintain strong relationships with our international partners,” Minister Bibeau said. “Our government is committed to working with our allies to promote regulatory approaches that facilitate trade while helping Canada’s agricultural sector to bring safe, high-quality products to international markets. The goal of these actions is to increase annual agri-food exports to C$75 billion by 2025.”
In 2019, Canada exported more than C$38.9 billion in agri-food and seafood to the United States and Mexico.
Minister Bibeau emphasized the need for predictable rules and science-based trade, that sustainability is defined by social, environmental and economic factors, and that innovation has an essential role in feeding a growing world population. Minister Bibeau also underscored that the new NAFTA, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is a priority for Canada and that the government is committed to working with Parliamentarians and Canadian stakeholders to implement the agreement as quickly as possible.
At the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 96th Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, Minister Bibeau participated in a panel discussion with Secretary Perdue, Secretary Villalobos, and Minister Basterra.
They discussed the importance of collaboration, innovation, food security, and supporting science and risk-based regulatory environments. During the panel, Minister Bibeau also stressed the importance of proactive collaboration with trading partners as part of North America’s preparedness strategy to help mitigate the risks of African swine fever should it be detected in the region.
Minister Bibeau also hosted a dialogue with key U.S. stakeholders from the Washington Agricultural Roundtable, Women in International Trade, and the U.S. Food and Ag Dialogue to discuss the importance of the Canada-U.S. trading relationship.