Remarks Delivered by Minister Ng at CUSMA Event in Mexico City
July 7, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario
Check against delivery. This speech has been translated in accordance with the Government of Canada’s official languages policy and edited for posting and distribution in accordance with its communications policy.
Good afternoon, everyone!
Thank you for the warm welcome, Secretary Clouthier [Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy]—and for hosting today’s event.
I’m so pleased that this trip, which is my first abroad since before the pandemic, has allowed me to finally meet you and Ambassador Tai [Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative] in person. I’m confident we can build on the momentum of our recent meetings to help our countries build back stronger and more resilient as we head toward economic recovery.
We’ve been talking a lot about an exciting milestone we’re celebrating: one year since the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement—or the new NAFTA, as we like to call it in Canada—entered into force.
We made history in 1993 by forging the largest free trade agreement. We had the shared goal of mutual economic prosperity and raising the standards of living for all our people.
Since then, trilateral trade has tripled, fostering innovation and creating jobs and economic growth across North America.
The past year has been incredibly difficult. But it’s also shown us how essential open trade and integrated supply chains are in supporting our industries, workers, and communities during challenging circumstances.
As we move forward, I’m grateful that our countries are united in making sure that our economic recovery is resilient and inclusive while also enhancing the competitiveness of North America.
This means putting particular focus on the success of small and medium-sized businesses and those that are owned and operated by women and other groups that are often under-represented in trade.
In Canada, as part of our economic recovery, we are making significant inclusive investments to support women and under-represented groups, like Indigenous, racialized, and LGBTQ2+ communities.
We are making historic investments in training for workers, in national early learning, and in child care, supporting youth and families with children, investing in pay equity, and raising the federal minimum wage, all while making the most significant investments to support small businesses in Canadian history so they can recover faster and stronger. As we finish this fight against COVID-19 in Canada, we need to make sure the gains we have made to support our most vulnerable are not lost, and we work together as partners in trade to ensure our workers, small business, and people aren’t left behind.
The modernizations we made in the new NAFTA can help us promote growth in traditional sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture, and natural resources, and can help us become market leaders in emerging sectors, such as clean technology and sustainable infrastructure, through trilateral collaboration.
Our trade relationship will be crucial to supporting these businesses as they recover, grow, and create jobs for our shared recovery, strengthening our North American competitive advantage at home and around the world.
By working hard to implement the new NAFTA, together we are sending a strong signal to our people, businesses, communities, and investors.
It is a message about our renewed commitment to the trilateral economic partnership, which protects workers, supports small businesses, creates opportunity for under-represented groups, and contributes to a more sustainable, inclusive future.
And I know as Canada, the United States, and Mexico continue to work together, we will recover from COVID-19 and lead the world in a greener, safer, and more competitive economic recovery.
This morning we spoke with diverse small businesses and entrepreneurs about ensuring our trade leaves no one behind, and we met with leaders in the private sector to discuss working together for a strong recovery.
We are here to discuss strengthening our trilateral relationship and making progress for workers and businesses in all three of our countries.
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