OTTAWA, CANADA – As Canada, the United States and Mexico continue to work toward modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the government of Canada remains committed to hearing from Canadians from across the country about trade.

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-U.S. relations), held a roundtable with Canadian agricultural stakeholders, ranging from beef to dairy to grains. Discussions focused on how the sector can maximize the benefits of a modernized NAFTA and look at ways to make North America an even stronger agricultural market.

"A strong North American Free Trade Agreement is important for our farmers and our economy,” MacAulay said.  “Millions of sector jobs across North America are supported by North American Free Trade Agreement, which has helped grow agricultural trade between our three nations to C$85 billion annually. Our government will continue to work together with Canadian farmers to ensure trade remains an engine of growth and prosperity for our nations.”

NAFTA has nearly quadrupled agricultural trade in North America over the past 25 years, with trilateral trade reaching nearly U.S. $1 trillion in 2016.

“Since North American Free Trade Agreement was signed 23 years ago, North American trade in agriculture and food has quadrupled, and last year North America exported over a quarter of a trillion dollars in agri-food products to the world,” said Leslie. “Our success in recent decades is due in large part to the value of our trading relationships, and to the hard work of our agriculture and agri-food industries.”

Every year, $85 billion in agricultural trade flows between the three nations.

Canada and the U.S. are each other’s largest trade partner for agriculture and food, with bilateral agriculture trade reaching C$62 billion (U.S. $47 billion) in 2016.

Mexico is Canada’s fourth largest export market for agriculture and agri-food, with C$1.7 billion worth of agri-food products shipped in 2016.