MANITOBA HIGHLIGHTS AGRICULTURAL TRADE PRIORITIES AT NORTH AMERICAN SUMMIT

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Manitoba will be participating in an international summit early in the new year to advance the province’s priorities related to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other issues affecting the agriculture industry and the province’s economic relationship with the United States, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.

This summit is an opportunity to ensure Manitoba is at the table with agricultural leaders from across North America while we discuss issues that have significant impact on the growth of our ag sector,”said Eichler.  “NAFTA negotiations will be a leading topic of discussion as we work to strengthen our trading relationship with the United States. I look forward to representing our producers and processors in these discussions by highlighting their priorities and concerns.”

The minister will be attending the 2018 Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit (LACS) hosted by the State Ag and Rural Leaders (SARL) in Kansas City, Missouri from January 5-7, 2018. This meeting is an opportunity for elected state and provincial officials representing agricultural and rural issues to collaborate and establish partnerships with the goal of making progress on shared priorities.

Manitoba supports a renegotiated NAFTA agreement that builds upon existing trade relations and does no harm to our existing systems and integrated supply chains.

Priorities include:

  • maintaining existing trade provisions such as zero tariff levels for most agriculture and agri-food products;

  • maintaining a balanced outcome that supports export growth and maintains the integrity of  Canada’s supply management system;

  • a predictable and timely dispute resolution process to create a favourable environment for investment and minimize risks for businesses with integrated supply chains;

  • creating a standardized approach to future biotechnology approvals and setting appropriate low level presence standards to enhance market;  and

  • resolving regulatory duplication related to biotechnology, crop inputs and veterinary drugs and recognizing equivalency of food safety systems that work to reduce unnecessary and time-consuming border inspections and quarantines for live animals, meat and vegetables.

The minister noted the United States is Manitoba’s largest trading partner.  In 2016, nearly half of our agriculture and agri-food exports, valued at $2.6 billion, were destined for this market.

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