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Cattle industry leaders discuss the largest trading relationship in the world


The Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Consulate General of Canada in Denver hosted a roundtable to discuss local and international issues facing today's cattle industry.

Nearly 50 industry leaders and students gathered Jan. 18, at the National Western Stock Show complex. The program was led by Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Stulp and Consul General of Canada Dale Eisler. The dialog covered a variety of cattle-related issues including country-of-origin labeling and air and water quality.

"The movement of live cattle and beef products between the United States and Canada totals nearly $3 billion annually and Colorado's beef industry plays a major role in that relationship," said Stulp. "The goal of this roundtable was to discuss challenges facing the cattle industry in both countries in order to continue building on that relationship."

The Consul General echoed the Commissioner's comments: "The closely integrated Canada-U.S. cattle industry is a key part of our trading relationship. So these kinds of discussions are important to ensuring our economies remain open and strong," said Eisler.

The United States and Canada are each other's largest trading partners, with total trade between the two countries projected to top $600 billion for 2008.

--In 2007, over one-fifth of total U.S. exported goods went to Canada ($249 billion) and for 36 states, Canada was the #1 destination for exports.

--Total U.S. exports to Canada have risen by more than 150 percent since the enactment of NAFTA in 1994. During this same time, exports of agricultural products from Colorado have grown by more than 300 percent from $81 million to $343.5 million in 2007.

--In 2007, total combined trade of agricultural products between the U.S. and Canada totaled $32.5 billion. Of this amount, exports totaling $343.5 million originated from Colorado, including $125 million in beef.

--For January through November of 2008, Colorado exports of fresh, chilled and frozen beef to Canada are reported at $160 million--a level 48 percent higher than the same period in 2007.

For more on Colorado's agricultural exports, visit www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1221475092115.

To learn more about the Canada-U.S.A. agriculture trading relationship, visit www.agr.gc.ca/usadvocacy.

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