Farmscape for August 22, 2017
The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance suggests the integration of North American agriculture creates a great deal of common ground among farmers in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The first round of negotiations aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement concluded Sunday.
Martin Rice, the acting Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, says these negotiations will have a significant impact on North American agriculture.
Clip-Martin Rice-Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance:
If we're looking at agri-food, I think there's a lot of optimism that we have between the three countries a tremendous amount of common interests.
We're talking about modernization and bringing more of a 21st century type of trade agreement into areas of technical issues, the phytosanitary issues, getting somewhere in terms of having common standards, common approaches to approving crop protection and animal health products, common standards, common tolerances for different food ingredients, additives and so on, finding ways to reduce the amount of regulatory overlap or duplication, having more streamlined approaches to establishing regulations, a further elimination of borders in a sense of how our products move between the countries.
There's been so much integration in North American agriculture that it's not just a one way or a one time border movement.
We have a lot of supply chains and a good example is the swine and pork situation where you have baby pigs going from Canada to the U.S. being fed, processed, products coming back into Canada for further processing and export.
The same thing happening between the U.S. and Mexico in beef.
So really there's now, because of the integrated nature of most of the North American sectors, we really do see a lot of commonality of interests between them.
Rice points out two way trade in agri-food between just Canada and the U.S. represents a billion dollars a week.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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