On Monday, June 11, NDFB hosted the Honorable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities for the Government of Canada, at a roundtable meeting. At the table was Farm Bureau leadership, representing farmers and ranchers from across the state, along with Northern Lights Dairy and agricultural commodities groups, including North Dakota Grain Growers, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, Northern Canola Growers Association and the North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association. At the meeting, participants exchanged views on NAFTA and the Canada-North Dakota relationship.
“We appreciated the opportunity to host a roundtable discussion representing North Dakota farmers and ranchers,” said NDFB President Daryl Lies. “Everyone in the room agreed that trade was of the utmost importance to agriculture. However, there is always a need to modernize these agreements and address those concerns which our farmers and ranchers have.”
The roundtable resulted in a very open discussion about the current concerns with NAFTA between the bordering countries. Everyone at the table had the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns while representing North Dakota agriculture.
Canada and the United States share the most prosperous relationship between any two countries in the world. Canada is North Dakota’s largest export market, purchasing 82 percent of North Dakota goods exports – more than all other countries combined. Annual goods trade between North Dakota and Canada totals US$6 billion per year, and agricultural trade totals $779 million. Canadian travelers spend $160 million in North Dakota annually, and 28,500 North Dakota jobs are supported by Canada-US trade and investment.