Winnipeg, Manitoba — Today we celebrate Canada's birthday. We also celebrate an important day for Canadian agricultural trade, with the Canada‑United States‑Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), coming into force.
"Implementation of CUSMA is particularly important now. It deepens the trade relationship with our closest trading neighbours, providing market certainty during a time when protectionism is growing and farmers are facing market access barriers for their crops on multiple fronts," says Bernie McClean, Chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). "Since it was implemented 26 years ago, NAFTA has served canola farmers well, directly contributing to the growth and development of Canada's canola sector."
In 2019, the United States was Canada's number one market for canola products, including seed, oil and meal, with sales totaling $3.5 billion. Mexico was Canada's fourth largest market valued at $628 million.
"In an environment of growing protectionism, it is critically important for Canada to champion free trade and to develop tools to enable trade," says Rick White, President & CEO of CCGA. "CUSMA's implementation bolsters certainty in our integrated North American marketplace and enshrines predictable rules of trade providing much needed market stability for farmers."
Originally created under NAFTA and continued under CUSMA, exports of canola seed, oil and meal will remain duty‑free. CUSMA also introduces improved market access provisions for margarine. The Agreement also recognizes the importance of innovation for North American agriculture by including a new section on agricultural biotechnology and various platforms to advance agricultural trade.
"We would like to thank Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and Canada's hard‑working trade negotiators at Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada and Global Affairs Canada for achieving this important milestone," says McClean. "We look forward to working with the Government on CUSMA's full implementation and to capitalize on the opportunities provided within the new Agreement."
CCGA represents canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability, and has been administrator of the Government of Canada's Advance Payments Program since 1984.
Kelly Green, Director of Communications