For Immediate Release
October 1, 2018
The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) welcomes the successful completion of negotiations of the new modernized trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trade between the North American countries is extremely important for the Canadian economy. The U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner with exports to the U.S. totaling $420.6 billion in products in 2017, while trade with Mexico has been growing.
“The SSGA has supported the successful negotiation of a trilateral agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. The NAFTA agreement had been very beneficial for the beef industry. This modernized agreement represents positive progress for trade relations and will provide benefits to the Canadian economy and to Saskatchewan,” SSGA President Bill Huber stated.
Saskatchewan greatly depends on foreign trade as half of its export production is shipped to the U.S. Agricultural commodities make up about half of the exports from Saskatchewan. Last year, the province had $2.7 billion in exports of agriculture and agri-foods to the U.S.
Both the Canadian and U.S. cattle industries have backed a successful negotiation of a trilateral trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Trade with the U.S. is very important for the Canadian beef sector, which sends 75% of its exports to the U.S. Canada produces approximately 1.3 million tonnes of beef annually. The industry provided $17.2 billion to the GDP last year. As of July 2018, Canadian beef and veal exports to the U.S. reached $1.48 billion.
“The U.S. is an important market for Canadian live cattle and beef. Continued tariff-free access to the U.S. and Mexico will allow Canada to grow its exports, add value and support the Canadian beef industry,” said the SSGA president.
A modernized USMCA will give Saskatchewan beef producers continued access to the U.S. and Mexican markets for live cattle and beef products. The USMCA is also important for the U.S. Canada is the top export market for a range of products for 35 U.S. states and the U.S. is a major importer of Canadian fresh beef and live cattle.
“There’s been a lot of uncertainty on the markets on both sides of the border while the negotiation of this modernized agreement had been underway, and it’s had an effect on the industry. Now, Canada’s beef sector can focus on returning stability to markets,” Huber added. “Our producers look forward to continuing the good relationship that we’ve had in the beef and cattle trade with both the U.S. and Mexico as well as to the continued growth of the Saskatchewan beef industry.”