Mark Keenum, USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services led a delegation to Mexico City last week to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was fully enacted on Jan. 1.
"NAFTA has been a positive force for our respective agricultural sectors, creating not only dramatic growth in two-way agricultural trade, but providing our farmers, ranchers and processors with the potential to take advantage of new export opportunities," Keenum says. "The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that full implementation of NAFTA continues to move smoothly."
Among the delegation representing the U.S. was Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs James Murphy, USDA's Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight and Undersecretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond.
"We agreed we should not look backwards and risk all we have accomplished," Murphy says. "At a time when we see rising prices for many commodities, open trade between Mexico and the United States also provides benefits for our consumers."
During discussions, it was decided to establish a livestock working group to address concerns of the livestock industry. The working group will meet by the middle of February.