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Minister MacAulay Makes Official Visit to Washington D.C.
January 14, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today marks his first visit to Washington D.C., with a focus on strengthening Canada's long-standing, bilateral partnership with the United States, while advancing the interests of Canadian agricultural producers, processors and exporters.
The focal point of Minister MacAulay's visit was his first meeting with his U.S. counterpart Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Minister MacAulay and Secretary Vilsack discussed agricultural issues of mutual interest, with a focus on trade. They expressed their commitment to work together to facilitate trade and increase the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
The Minister met with U.S. thought leaders on agriculture, including a former Secretary of Agriculture, to seek their views on policy, priorities and dynamics, and how the U.S. and Canada can work together on emerging agriculture issues.
In December, 2015, the United States repealed Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork. The Minister acknowledges the hard work and support of our U.S. allies which were instrumental in achieving a positive resolution. The Minister will also meet with U.S. companies and associations from the COOL Reform Coalition, including the meat and livestock sector, to highlight the importance of the repeal and reaffirm Canada's commitment to monitoring the implementation that will ensure discrimination against Canadian cattle and hog exports is removed in the U.S. market.
"Our government is committed to deepening ties with the United States. I am confident that a renewed focus on the partnership between our countries will help create new opportunities for agriculture and agri-food and stimulate overall economic growth.- Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P., Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Canada and the United States form the greatest bilateral trading relationship in the world with over $50B in bilateral trade in agriculture and food products.
- Agriculture and seafood exports to the U.S. have increased by almost $20B since NAFTA to total $29.5B in 2014, or 52% of agriculture and seafood exports to all countries ($56.4B), making the U.S. the most valuable market for Canadian agricultural exports.
- On December 19, 2015, the United States repealed COOL for beef and pork.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture promised to make amendments to the relevant regulations as quickly as possible to reflect the legislative repeal.
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