Ontario Strengthening Agri-Food Trade with United States
Meeting with U.S. Federal and State Department Agriculture Representatives
TORONTO - Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman, joined by Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli, met with senior officials of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and several American state agriculture representatives in Toronto yesterday to discuss strengthening U.S.-Canada bilateral agricultural trade.
The September 3rd meeting was facilitated by USDA Under Secretary Ted McKinney and included senior representatives of several U.S. states, as well as staff of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
"Ontario is committed to working with the United States to increase agri-food trade and investment," said Hardeman. "Our state-provincial trade relationships are extremely important for both job creation and retention in our agriculture and agri-food processing sectors."
Discussions focused on the mutual benefits of two-way agri-food trade, opportunities to collaborate on continued cross-border economic growth, the importance of ratification for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, and topics for further joint advocacy at the upcoming Trinational Accord gathering of secretaries of state departments of agriculture in Winnipeg on November 12-14, 2019.
"Ontario is the largest trading partner for 19 U.S. states, and second largest of nine more states," said Fedeli. "We look forward to continuing to build our ties with our trade partners in the United States."
Supporting Ontario's agricultural sector, strengthening trade relationships and protecting the environment is part of Ontario's plan to create jobs and grow our economy.
- The U.S. is Ontario’s largest agri-food trading partner, with two-way trade in 2018 valued at $29.6 billion CDN.
- 74 per cent of Ontario agri-food exports are shipped to the U.S.
- Ontario’s top agri-food exports to the U.S. are grain products ($3.8 billion CDN), vegetables ($1.5 billion) and edible preparations such as sauces, condiments and soups ($1.1 billion).
- Ontario’s top agri-food imports from the U.S. are edible preparations ($2.7 billion CDN), grain products ($ 2.2 billion CDN) and fruits and nuts ($2.2 billion CDN).
- One in eight jobs in Ontario is supported by the agriculture sector.
- The agriculture sector contributed $47.7 billion to Ontario’s GDP in 2018.