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AGRICULTURE

Mexican govt, agri-food sector in consultation before Canada, US talks
Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Mexico City
The Mexican government has begun to consult with the country’s agri-food sector in a bid to bolster its hand at the upcoming free trade talks with Canada and the United States.

Mexico, the United States and Canada are set to renegotiate the two-decade-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in August at the insistence of US president Donald Trump, who believes the treaty’s terms are disadvantageous to American industry.

The Mexican ministry of agriculture said in a statement that it had organised a forum where officials, producers and business owners could exchange strategic ideas.

“We have to bring the best argument to the table,” said Jorge Narvaez, Mexico’s deputy agriculture minister, at the opening of the Strategic Forum on NAFTA’s Agricultural Chapter.

The information gathered at the forum will then be presented to the country’s economic ministry, which will be leading Mexico’s delegation to the talks, tentatively expected to commence on August 16, 2017.

“Participants will review all aspects of trade, including tariffs and subsidies, as well as health, labour and environmental regulations,” the statement said.

“The agri-food sector is a key part of the free trade agreement. Thus there is a need to form a team, unite efforts and generate institutional confidence and certainty,” said Narvaez.

The outlook for North America’s agricultural industries improved recently when the agriculture ministers from all three countries met in the American state of Georgia to express their support for NAFTA and free trade.

“Mexico exported more than 80 per cent of its agri-food to the United States, generating a record $29 billion in revenue in 2016,” stated its agricultural ministry.

(Source: Xinhua)
 
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