|By Marketwired .||
|July 23, 2014 07:59 PM EDT||
WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/23/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today addressed the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) Foundation Summit where he underscored the importance of free and unfettered trade to drive competitiveness, create jobs and provide economic opportunities on both sides of the border. Six hundred key business leaders, legislators, and government leaders from PNWER's ten states, provinces, and territories were present to discuss major policy issues impacting the region, including cross-border livestock issues.
The leaders also highlighted work carried out by the Regulatory Co-operation Council which aims to better align the two countries' regulatory approaches, where possible, to reduce red tape and strengthen competitiveness. Minister Ritz again underscored the importance of ending the discrimination against Canadian cattle and hogs under mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and the growing recognition that COOL continues to hurt farmers and industry on both sides of the border.
-- Total two-way agricultural trade between Canada and the United States reached $45.6 billion in 2013, up $11 billion from 2010. -- In 2013, the total value of Canada-U.S. two-way trade in goods and services was $606 billion. -- Since NAFTA came into force, the North American economy has more than doubled and agricultural trade has quadrupled to over a billion dollars a week.
"Canada deeply values our trading relationship with the United States and summits like PNWER allow us to work together to grow our collective economic competitiveness beyond North America. As each other's largest trading partners, we must continue to boost the productivity and competitiveness of our economies through science-based trade while eliminating barriers to growth such as COOL."
- Gerry Ritz, Agriculture Minister
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Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada