Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement following his meeting with Mexico's new Secretary of Agriculture, Enrique Martínez y Martínez:
"I am pleased by the productive exchange with Secretary Martínez where we discussed and recognized the strong bilateral agricultural trade between our two countries. Mexico is an important strategic ally and critical economic partner to the United States, and our third-largest export market for U.S. agricultural products. Bilateral agricultural trade between our countries is at record levels and has more than quadrupled since NAFTA's implementation nearly 20 years ago. Secretary Martínez and I expressed a common desire to build on this strong foundation and promote greater market access for our agricultural products.
"In our wide-ranging discussions, Secretary Martínez and I committed to reenergize and revitalize the U.S.-Mexico Consultative Committee on Agriculture, a forum that will enable us to address bilateral trade issues and continue to identify opportunities for cooperation. We also discussed market access for many agricultural products, including U.S. beef, potatoes, and produce, and received assurances that Mexico continues to progress in their regulatory processes to meet our request. I indicated the United States would like to continue our collaboration on both biotechnology and organic agriculture as they continue to be important trade priorities of the Obama Administration and USDA.
"During President Obama's visit here earlier this month, he and President Peña Nieto agreed to establish a U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), promoting mutual economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness. Secretary Martínez and I support this dialogue since it recognizes the integrated nature of our two economies and underscores our shared interest in revitalizing the rural economies of our respective countries."