A statement signed by numerous entities including the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), the Canadian Horticulture Council and the Retail Council of Canada said the industry supports the modernization of the deal.
But its support is contingent on fair and free principles being upheld and the preservation of integrated supply chains across the continent, it said.
“We urge negotiators to conclude negotiations as soon as possible for the stability of businesses across North America,” the statement said.
Negotiations to revise the 1994 trade agreement began in August. Officials have previously said they were aiming to conclude the talks in the early stages of 2018.
The Canadian organizations highlighted that NAFTA had proven to be successful for the agriculture industry in Canada and North America, saying it had been an important factor in the country exporting more than CAD$31 billion worth of agri-food products to the U.S. and Mexico every year.
“The modernization of NAFTA presents new opportunities for agriculture and agri-food exporters,” the statement said.
“Specifically, Canada’s agriculture industry supports a modernized and harmonized regulatory framework under NAFTA which enables rational science-based systems to support free flowing trade.
“Modern biotech policies are an example of forward thinking trade enabling rules forming the foundation for a new global standard for commodity trade to the benefit of both countries as international importer/exporters.”
In a separate development, U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly come to see that the deal has some benefits to the U.S., particularly for farming, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Trump “probably left the campaign trail literally believing that Nafta had not been good for any sector of the economy,” Perdue was quoted as saying by CNN.
But “I think that he has now come to realize that agriculture has been benefited by a Nafta agreement,” Perdue was quoted as saying.