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USTR Portman to Participate in Annual NAFTA Meeting

March 22, 2006

Tomorrow, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman departs for Mexico to
participate in an annual meeting on the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA). He will meet with Mexican Economy Minister Sergio Garcia de Alba and
Canadian International Trade Minister David Emerson.

"The NAFTA has been a proven success for Canada, Mexico and the United
States. By reducing barriers to trade and enabling more and better commerce
between us, all three of our economies have benefited significantly," Portman

"As the world’s largest Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA partners conduct nearly
$2.2 billion in trilateral trade each day," Portman said. "Trade relationships
of this magnitude demand a solid framework that creates opportunity and provides
predictability. With NAFTA as that firm foundation, a robust economic
relationship has developed between our three countries and generated benefits
for our workers, farmers, manufacturers and service providers."

"At this annual trade ministers’ meeting, we will discuss ways we can build
on our success –
especially as we approach the final phase of implementing the NAFTA in 2008. It
is also an opportunity to meet with Mexico and Canada individually and explore
issues for future cooperation," Portman noted.