AMES, Iowa — Mexican Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Villalobos and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued the following statement at the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in Ames, Iowa.
“We reaffirm the importance of our two nations’ exceptional agricultural trading relationship and its role in supporting rural prosperity, creating good jobs and providing nutritious, safe and affordable food to consumers in both countries. Thanks to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and our hard-working farmers and ranchers, our nations enjoy the world’s largest two-way trade in food and agricultural goods.
“The integrated nature of our two agricultural sectors serves as a driving force for this enduring trading partnership, linking farmers, ranchers and consumers on both sides of the border. Our discussions in Iowa highlighted the importance of continuing to work together to advance rural prosperity and to fulfill our shared responsibility to protect our agricultural systems and producers. This includes collaborative efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever and other animal and plant diseases and pests.
“From excessive drought to more extreme fires, our farmers, ranchers and producers are on the front lines dealing with the increasingly urgent challenges of climate change. Agriculture faces the daunting task of producing more food to meet the nutritional needs of a growing world population while at the same time coping with climate change and ever-tightening natural resource constraints. We are confident that our agricultural sectors will be a key part of the solution, with a focus on a more inclusive rural development and continuing to provide good incomes to rural workers and plentiful supplies of high-quality agricultural products to consumers worldwide.
“We share a commitment to keeping our markets open and transparent so that trade can continue to grow. That mutual commitment was reaffirmed in our discussions today. We remain proud of our shared successes and equally steadfast in meeting common challenges together.”