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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets with Canadian Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Mexican Secretary of Economy Bruno Ferrari

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today hosted a trilateral meeting of North American Industry Ministers with Canada’s Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Bruno Ferrari.  The officials discussed North American economic competitiveness and deeper trilateral cooperation on trade and economic issues. 

The trilateral meeting, which took place on the margins of the Americas Competitiveness Forum, focused on the implementation of the President Obama’s National Export Initiative and the ways Canada, Mexico, and the United States can better cooperate with the high levels of industry and sector integration as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Canada, the United States, and Mexico have a sophisticated and robust trade relationship because of NAFTA,” Locke said.  “Because our businesses already cooperate in the production of goods and delivery of services, we must work together to develop strategies that will benefit these businesses and the workers of this region.”

The three leaders also pledged to identify ways to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to export their goods and services, enabling them to expand their business operations.

In 2009, trilateral trade among the NAFTA partners totaled more than $735 billion, an increase of 148 percent since the year before NAFTA’s implementation.

The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration can help U.S. companies increase their trade in North America, offering such services as trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, resolving market access barriers, and commercial diplomacy.