Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk will host a meeting of the Free Trade Commission of the North American Free Trade Agreement in Dallas, Texas, on October 19, 2009. Ambassador Kirk will meet with his Ministerial colleagues, Canada's Trade Minister Stockwell Day and Mexico's Secretary of the Economy Gerardo Ruiz Mateos, to discuss ways to ensure that the benefits of our trilateral trade and economic relationship are widely shared and sustainable. Among the issues to be discussed is the relationship between trade, labor and the environment under the NAFTA.
"As a follow-up to the Leaders' Summit in August 2009, this meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss how we can work together to strengthen the relationship between the Free Trade Commission, the North American Commission for Labor Cooperation, and the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation," said Kirk. "I look forward to discussing with my colleagues the importance of better and more regular communication among the NAFTA institutions responsible for trade, labor and environment to ensure that all North American citizens, workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and businesses can all share in the opportunities created through economic growth under the NAFTA."
As part of the agenda, the Ministers will discuss ways to enhance competitiveness in North America as well as explore how the NAFTA can better serve small- and medium-size enterprises. NAFTA entered into force in 1994. Since then trade among the NAFTA countries has more than tripled from $297 billion to $941 billion. Each day the NAFTA countries conduct nearly $2.6 billion in trilateral trade.