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Statement by Canada, United States and Mexico on the North American Competitiveness and Innovation Conference

Saturday, November 1, 2014
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Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

The Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Penny Pritzker, the United States’ Secretary of Commerce, and Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, today issued the following statement:

“We, the ministers responsible for international trade and commerce for Canada, the United States and Mexico, held a joint meeting and participated in the North American Competitiveness and Innovation Conference in Toronto, Ontario. The conference brought together business leaders from across North America to discuss our top priorities, which are creating jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity for North American businesses, workers and their families.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which laid the foundation for greater economic integration between our three countries. Since then, the Canada, United States and Mexico economieshave prospered. Our combined trade relationship is more than $1.4 trillion, and our economic output accounts for more than one-quarter of the world`s GDP. The North American economy can out-compete any region in the world.

“We have pledged to build on this success by enhancing trade and deepening our economic relationship through cooperation on our North American Competitiveness Work Plan. The Work Plan has eight key pillars, all of which aim to increase North American competitiveness. These pillars include trilateral investment initiatives, tourism collaboration, border facilitation, regulatory cooperation, entrepreneurship and innovation, strengthening the North American production platform, stakeholder outreach, and promotion of skills for a 21st century workforce.

“This Work Plan exemplifies how our three countries  work together to support North American companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. It also showcases how our countries continue to strengthen our economic partnership, generate prosperity and increase competitiveness on the global stage."