By Caribbean News Global

CANADA / USA / MEXICO – Canada’s Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, spoke with Katherine Tai, United States trade representative, and Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo, Mexico’s secretary of economy in advance of the inaugural Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Free Trade Commission (FTC) meeting, hosted by the United States, May 17 and 18, 2021.

Canada – US

Minister Ng and ambassador Tai highlighted the importance of trilateral free trade in strengthening North American economic competitiveness and ensuring the timely and effective implementation of the new NAFTA. They discussed support for the CUSMA enforcement mechanisms, including on labour rights, and ongoing collaboration to address global trade challenges such as forced labour, WTO reform and taking action to fight climate change, as Global Affairs Canada reports.

Minister Ng raised Buy America and the importance of the long-standing Canada-United States economic partnership, cross-border infrastructure investments, strengthened supply chains, and mutual energy-security advantages to build back a better economy. Minister Ng reiterated that it was in the best interest of both countries to reach an agreement on softwood lumber and raised the impacts of solar safeguards. Minister Ng also noted the importance of the continued safe operation of line 5.

Minister Ng and ambassador Tai agreed to continue their work on the Roadmap for a Renewed United States-Canada Partnership, to ensure the resilience of integrated supply chains and to support a strong, sustainable, and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for workers and industry on both sides of the border.

Canada – Mexico

Global Affairs Canada noted that minister Ng and secretary Clouthier discussed the importance of trilateral free trade in strengthening North American competitiveness and making progress on the implementation of the new NAFTA. They highlighted the growing economic relationship between Canada and Mexico, and their shared interest in inclusive trade that benefits small businesses, women, Indigenous peoples, and underrepresented groups in both countries.

Minister Ng reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to working closely with Mexico to address trade and investment issues, including rules of origin for the automotive industry and to support Mexico’s historic efforts on labour reform. She also reiterated Canada’s concerns about the current investment climate in Mexico, especially in its mining and energy sectors. Minister Ng emphasized the need for a timely resolution of these issues in order to provide long-term economic security for workers and industry.

Minister Ng and secretary Clouthier welcomed the opportunity to participate in the first trilateral meeting of the FTC and agreed to continue working together to create jobs and to support workers in both countries to ensure long-term growth and prosperity and a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, referenced Global Affairs Canada.

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