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March 13, 2020 - International Trade News

Canada's Agri-Food Exporters Applaud Ratification of CUSMA

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) applauds all Parliamentarians for swiftly ratifying the Canada—United States—Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The United States and Mexico are the first and fourth largest exports markets for Canadian food and agricultural products, making up well over half of total Canadian food and agricultural exports last year.

At a time of great uncertainty for Canadians, ratifying the CUSMA quickly provides assurances to Canadian agri-food exporters. With over half of Canadian agriculture and agri-food products destined for global markets, preserving free trade access to the lucrative North American market is good for CAFTA members, Canada’s agri-food industry, and the one million Canadian farmers and workers who make their living in these sectors. Moreover, this agreement returns stability and certainty to North American trade which is vital for Canadian businesses that have highly integrated supply chain and customer relationships in all three markets.

Key wins for Canada’s agri-food sector in the new CUSMA agreement include:

  • Upholding predicable, duty-free access to the North American market. Outcomes reached in the agreement contain no new tariff or trade-restricting measures and all agricultural products that had zero tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will remain at zero tariffs under the new CUSMA.
  • Safeguarding the food manufacturing supply chains that have been developed over the past generation, therefore ensuring trade in North America will remain predictable, stable and highly integrated.
  • Meaningful progress on regulatory alignment and cooperation. The establishment of the Working Group for Cooperation on Agricultural Biotechnology and the creation of a new Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee will ensure regulations are transparent, based on science and that trade in North America flows freely, fairly and abundantly.
  • Preserving Chapter 19 in its entirety and much of Chapter 20 from the previous NAFTA which will ensure that fair and transparent dispute resolution provisions are in place for when disagreements arise.
  • Improved market access via increased quotas for refined sugar and sugar containing products as well as gains for some oilseed products.


“CAFTA members have stood firmly behind Canadian negotiators throughout the negotiations that led to this deal, and we are pleased that this day has arrived. For Canada’s agri-food exporters, competitive access to international markets is our bread and butter. We applaud the efforts of everyone who contributed to getting CUSMA to this point and look forward to reaping the benefits of continued free trade in vital North American markets.” - Dan Darling, President, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance 

CAFTA members – including farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers – contribute nearly $100 billion to Canada’s economy annually and support almost one million jobs in urban and rural areas in every region of the country.


CAFTA is the voice of Canadian agriculture and agri-food exporters, representing the 90% of farmers who depend on trade and the ranchers, producers, processors and agri-food exporters who want to grow the economy through better access to international markets. This includes the beef, pork, meat, grains, cereals, pulses, soybeans, canola as well as the sugar, malt, and processed food industries. The sectors CAFTA represents support over a million jobs in urban and rural communities across Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Claire Citeau, Executive Director
T: 613-560-0500 / C : 613-266-9104