U.S. and Mexico Renew Consultative Committee on Agriculture

Agriculture secretaries from the U.S. and Mexico have approved the decision to re-establish an agreement to increase agricultural trade between the two countries.

According to a USDA release, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Mexico's Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cardenas and Economy Secretary Eduardo Sojo yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to re-establish the U.S.-Mexico Consultative Committee on Agriculture.

"The United States and Mexico have a longstanding, excellent bilateral trade relationship," said Johanns. "The CCA has proven to be an important venue for addressing and resolving issues that arise between our countries. It provides a mechanism to work out problems before they become larger, more formal disputes. This renewed CCA will help maintain the close working relationships that have developed between our leaders and trade facilitators."

The CCA, which was previously signed by U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab, has served historically as a forum for important trade issues related to market access, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, biotechnology and animal and plant health. Mexico was a global leader in reopening its market to U.S. beef after the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in U.S. cattle in December 2003.

Enhancing trade between the United States and Mexico has paid off not only for producers, but for consumers in both countries. Mexico is the United States' second largest agricultural market, and the United States is Mexico's most important trade destination.

Renewal of the CCA is expected to continue to benefit American farmers and consumers, further increasing two-way agricultural trade flows between the United States and Mexico, which topped $20 billion in 2006.

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