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GCC Submission to The Federal Government

Web posted on July 20, 2017

Guelph, July 20, 2017: The Guelph Chamber of Commerce made its submission to inform the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation process. Canada, Mexico and the United States of America are currently preparing to renegotiate and modernize NAFTA. The Government of Canada sought the views of individuals and businesses on the renegotiation and modernization of the existing Agreement with the United States and Mexico.

Given that NAFTA has been in force for over 20 years, the Government of Canada also sought information on the areas that have proved the most beneficial to Canadian exporters. As part of the modernization, it remains vitally important that the Government of Canada recommit to the principles of the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) in its initiative to harmonize regulatory requirements and practices.

"Guelph is home to a number of leading Canadian companies that do business on both sides of the border, Canada and the United States share one of the most unique and prosperous relationships in the world," says Kithio Mwanzia, President & CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce. "

Specifically, the Guelph Chamber, in its submission, sought to eliminate inefficiencies at the Canada-US border that currently impact the ability for agri-food products to get to market more swiftly. Canada-US agri-food trade exceeds $44 billion annually and involves a wide range of products.

As such, there are differences in legislation, regulatory authority, coverage, standards, measurements, and in the handling of real and perceived risks of agri-food product that pose challenges to and effectively limit smooth cross-border movement.

"The economic importance of Canada's agri-food industry cannot be overstated," continues Mwanzia. "Currently, the ability for Canada's agri-food industry to swiftly and efficiently deliver their product to cross-border markets are hampered by cross-border trade inefficiencies. The Guelph Chamber's submission seeks to change this." "The agri-business industry is a crucial economic driver for Guelph and Canada," concludes Mwanzia. "It is vitally important that the federal government recommit to the principles of the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) in its initiative to harmonize regulatory requirements and practices on agri-food products between Canada and the United States with a specific focus on eliminating the re-inspection of agri-food."

Canada and the U.S. have one of the most long-standing and mutually-beneficial trade relationships in the world. It's important to preserve and strengthen it. By uniting in support of a common goal, both countries can create jobs and prosperity.