The General Manager of Manitoba Pork says elected U.S. state officials and agricultural leaders he has talked to want to see the North American Free Trade Agreement improved in a way that will increase the volumes of trade among the U.S. Canada and Mexico.

This past week, in Kansas City, Missouri, State Agriculture and Rural Leaders hosted the 2018 Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit.

Manitoba Pork General Manager Andrew Dickson, who attended on behalf of the province’s pork sector, says we find friends in the United States who are looking for allies and they want us to reach out and talk to their compatriots about the benefits of free trade and how it impacts back at the state level and the benefits it brings.

People I met indicated that they were very supportive of free trade. They would like to see it enhanced. They would like to see more free trade occur. They recognize Canada invests in the United States and creates jobs and activities and services for their people the same way America invests and trades with Canadian companies and markets directly to Canadian consumers. We play to each other’s strengths in these areas.

It was very clear to me, from the people I talked to, they look to Canada as a partner in growing business both in agriculture and in other industries. I didn’t run into anybody who was totally against Canada and wanted to see NAFTA wrecked. In fact it was the exact opposite. They want NAFTA to stay in place and some of its quirks to be fixed so that we can increase the volume of trade that goes between the two counties.

Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork

Dickson says, from Manitoba’s perspective free trade is critical. He says if we don’t export our products we won’t have an economy that’s growing and if we don’t have an economy that’s growing we won’t have taxes flowing and if we don’t have taxes flowing we won’t have our health care programs, we won’t have our education programs and we won’t be able to help families through our family services programs so this is not just about agriculture.