U.S., Canada lay out trade issues

07.06.2017

Secretary of Agriculture George (Sonny) Perdue completed his first international trip as secretary to discuss bilateral trade issues with Canada.  Perdue conducted a series of meetings with Canadian officials, including Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay and current Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, while in Toronto.

“I look forward to working closely with Secretary Perdue and the new U.S. Administration to further strengthen our important agricultural relationship," MacAulay said. "Canada will continue to develop our ties with the U.S. in areas including trade, science, regulations and the environment. I’m confident that we can reinforce this relationship in a balanced manner, allowing us to boost farmers’ bottom lines and create good, middle class jobs on both sides of the border.”

Perdue participated in a celebration of the 10th year of the Southeastern United States-Canadian Provinces Alliance (SEUS-CP), an organization meant to foster mutually beneficial relationships Perdue helped found as governor of Georgia, U.S., in 2007.  Perdue participated in a “fireside chat” regarding SEUS-CP with former Premier of Quebec Jean Charest.

Finally, Perdue attended the inaugural “tasteU.S.” culinary showcase of Southeastern United States products at the Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Restaurant.

“We had very good, very candid discussions, very frank, like family members discussing some things that are not necessarily comfortable,” Perdue said.  “We laid out a great framework to begin renegotiating NAFTA. I was able to describe the issues that we feel are important to resolve – and can be resolved – as we begin to renegotiate NAFTA. That has to do, obviously, with the dairy issue and the wheat grading issue that deals with feed grade wheat that’s not grown in Canada.

 “While we didn’t try to negotiate back and forth, I think it was clearly understood that we consider all options on the table and we’ll pursue them in the best interests of U.S. producers.”

As two of the world’s largest agricultural producers with a shared border, Canada and the United States are key markets for each other’s agricultural products. In 2016, the United States exported $20.2 billion of agricultural products to Canada, making it the nation’s second-largest agricultural export market, while Canada exported $21 billion of agricultural products to the United States.


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