QUÉBEC CITY, Oct. 14, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Within the framework of the fourth round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, Laurent Lessard, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, traveled to Washington to defend the interests of Québec agri-food businesses. The Minister pointed out that Québec continues to exert leadership in promoting supply management during negotiations. Through meetings with government players and stakeholders, Mr. Lessard had the opportunity to discuss sector issues raised by this round of negotiations. He also emphasized that since NAFTA came into force in 1994, it has been shown to be beneficial not only for Canadian businesses, but for American and Mexican companies as well.
"The Government of Québec's position has always been clear in its approach to international trade agreement negotiations—our ability to maintain the supply management system must absolutely be maintained. This system, which has proven its mettle, gives producers income stability and provides consumers with reliable supply. I insist on the fact that supply management is not negotiable."
Laurent Lessard, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
- Supply management means nearly 7,000 producers across Québec, namely, 5,473 diary producers, 152 turkey producers, 130 table egg producers and 36 hatching egg producers.
- Supply-managed commodities account for 38% of Québec farm market receipts ($3.2 billion). The dairy sector is the biggest ($2.2 billion), followed by chicken ($652.7 million), eggs ($180.6 million) and turkeys (87.5 million).
- Québec is Canada's main milk producer and is second for poultry and eggs.
- Canada is one of the main markets for American agri-food exports. The value of exports bound for the Canadian market is in the vicinity of $25.2 billion, that is, nearly 17% of American agri-food exports.
- Québec imports $1.5 billion-worth of agri-food products from the United States.
- The total value of international exports of agri-food products from Québec is $8.2 billion. 71% of these exports is destined for the American market, for a value of more than $5.8 billion.
- On October 10, more than 300 American boards of trade sent President Donald Trump a letter outlining the benefits of NAFTA and urging him to maintain the Agreement.
- On September 24, in an open letter published in the Wall Street Journal, Thomas J. Donohue, the Chair and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, argued that leaving NAFTA would be catastrophic on the economic, political and national security fronts.
SOURCE Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation
For further information: Source and information: Mathieu Gaudreault, Press Attaché, Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Phone: (418) 380-2525