The Government of Canada has made it a top priority to re-establish and strengthen our relationship with one of our most important partners, Mexico. Both countries understand how important it is to have a productive and respectful relationship – one that allows for greater trade, stronger growth, and more clean job creation.
Canada and Mexico share a strong – and growing – economic relationship. We are each other’s third-largest trading partners, and bilateral trade between the two countries continues to grow annually; merchandise trade in 2015 was valued at $37.8 billion.
Today, the leaders agreed to make progress in many areas that will improve trade relations, deepen our business relationships, and create sustainable economic growth that benefits all of our people.
Lifting of the ban on Canadian beef
Canada is one of the largest exporters of meat and livestock in the world, supporting tens of thousands of jobs across our country.
Canada welcomes Mexico’s decision to resume imports of Canadian beef – joining 50 other markets around the world that import beef from Canada. Mexico is in the final stages of its due diligence to achieve full normalization of beef trade with Canada by October 1, 2016.
We are part of an integrated North America, and this is tremendous news for Canadian farmers and producers.
This process will result in access for all beef, beef products, and beef by-products from animals of all ages from Canada. Canada is committed to strong and safe risk control measures for animal disease, consistent with global guidelines and principles. As per Canadian regulations, Canada remains committed to continue removing specific risk materials to ensure meat and meat products continue to have high levels of safety for all consumers.
With this positive and principled measure, Canadian and Mexican exporters can take advantage of new opportunities in each other’s markets for all beef products. This is a result of shared science-based decision making and a joint commitment to economic prosperity, which includes an additional $10 million dollars in annual exports for the Canadian beef industry.
Both countries agree that trade between Canada and Mexico be based on sound scientific principles and be consistent with international standards.
Air Transport Agreement
Canada and Mexico recognize the importance of international air transportation to promote trade, tourism, and investment, and today agreed to further expand the air transport agreement that governs the air services between our countries. This enhanced agreement will allow airlines to provide increased service options for passengers and shippers.
Both Prime Minister Trudeau and President Peña Nieto committed to the prompt ratification of the amendments, so that the benefits of this agreement are passed on to Canadian and Mexican air carriers, business persons, travellers, and shippers as fast as possible.
Science, Technology and Innovation
Canada and Mexico understand that science, technology, and innovation are fundamental for clean economic growth and prosperity. Moving forward, both countries will work in close cooperation on science, technology and innovation in areas that are of high strategic importance.
Mutual Recognition Arrangement of Trusted Trader Programs: North American Trade Facilitation
Customs authorities from Canada and Mexico signed a mutual recognition arrangement at a World Customs Organization’s meeting in May, which recognizes each other’s members as trusted traders and grants them similar benefits. These benefits include facilitation at the border which will greatly ease the flow of global cargo trade.
Prosperity for Canadians and Mexicans will be greatest if everyone is included. By offering social protection to low-income families, we are able to reduce vulnerability, improve well-being, and create social mobility – particularly for women and girls. Not only does this make for a fairer society, but a stronger economy and a brighter future for all of us, as well.
For this reason, through Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada and Mexico will work together to implement an innovative mobile banking solution called Prospera Digital, as a complement to Mexico’s Prospera program. The existing program provides cash on a regular basis to seven million low-income women, so long as they provide their children with schooling, health services, and adequate nutrition. Limited banking infrastructure outside major cities, however, means that billions of dollars in cash must be regularly distributed to about 120,000 communities across the country – a highly inefficient proposition that also limits the program’s effectiveness.
Thanks to the Prospera Digital program, and with cell phone ownership among recipients outstripping bank accounts, mobile banking will simplify the Prospera program and open the door to the provision of other services – including savings, remittances, and microcredit. Research will also be supported in order to improve policy and operations, and allow other countries to learn from Mexico's experience.
Tourism Statistical Exchange
Mexico and Canada are among each other’s most important tourism source markets. Nearly two million Canadians visit Mexico each year, and we look forward to more Mexican visitors, students, and business people coming to Canada in the months and years ahead.
A visa lift for Mexican visitors is expected to generate significant growth for Canada, Canadian businesses, and our tourism industry. To this end, Canada and Mexico have agreed to formalize cooperation in the area of tourism statistics through a memorandum of understanding.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Indigenous Communities
In both Canada and Mexico, Indigenous people – especially women – face challenges in attaining and applying higher education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In Mexico, where there are approximately 17 million Indigenous people, only about 2.5 per cent of Indigenous students complete university or college degrees across all fields of study.
Both countries will work together – through Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the National Council for Science and Technology of the United Mexican States – to strengthen programs that aim to create new jobs, especially for women. A letter of intent will be signed between the two organizations to guide this work.