Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Recommends New Approaches for Canada-US-Mexico Trade Relationship
Ottawa (June 11, 2015) - Today, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade tabled North American Neighbours: Maximizing Opportunities and Strengthening Cooperation for a More Prosperous Future.
The committee examined changing economic and social conditions in Mexico; the potential for increased Canada–US–Mexico trade and investment, including in growth areas in resource, manufacturing and services sectors; federal actions needed to realize any identified opportunities; and opportunities for deepening cooperation at the trilateral level.
The committee concluded that the North American relationship has yet to reach its full potential as an economic, political and trade partnership. A stronger partnership with Mexico is a key way to strengthen the trilateral approach to North American relations, ultimately fostering competitiveness and greater prosperity.
“Canada’s commercial and diplomatic relations with its closest neighbours continue to underpin our status as a trading nation. Yet there is still room for improvement. Changes in Canada, Mexico and the United States in recent years have created opportunities to explore new ways of working together to ensure North America’s global competitiveness and prosperity for years to come.”
Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the Committee
“Geographic, linguistic and other factors have prevented the Canada-Mexico relationship from reaching its full potential. Canada’s relationship with Mexico should be an important focus in the future even as we continue to build on our existing relationship with the United States.“
Senator Percy Downe, Deputy Chair of the Committee
In 2014, the collective trade relationship between Canada, the United States and Mexico was valued at more than $1.4 trillion and the three countries’ economic output accounted for more than one quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.
Both Canada and Mexico are working with the United States with a view to “thinning” the shared borders that “thickened” following the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
Mexico has implemented a number of structural reforms in recent years, including in the area of energy, which make it increasingly attractive as a trade and investment partner.
Trilateral cooperation between Canada, the United States and Mexico on issues of mutual interest holds great promise for increasing North America’s future competitiveness and prosperity.
Between September and December 2014, the committee held meetings with business representatives, current and former government officials, think tank representatives and academics.
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