ARLINGTON, VA - Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin offered the following statement regarding the preliminary deal reached today under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA:

“We are extremely pleased and encouraged by today’s announcement that the U.S. and Mexico have completed work on outstanding issues in NAFTA modernization talks.

“While there is still work to be done as part of the negotiation process, including addressing specific U.S.-Canada trade concerns, today’s agreement is a significant step forward that FMI hopes will create momentum for a full agreement this year.

“Closer economic ties among the U.S., Canada and Mexico have benefitted American consumers and food retailers by lowering costs; broadening supply networks; improving eating quality; increasing assurance about food safety; and reducing product losses. NAFTA was the crucial first step in making this possible and we believe the modernization process will deepen these ties and continue to support the US food supply as the safest, most wholesome and most affordable in the world.”

“Today’s progress would not have been possible without President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer’s focus on pushing negotiations forward to create an updated and comprehensive NAFTA that works for all parties. FMI and the food wholesale and retail industry remain committed to continue working with the administration and our supply chain partners to successfully complete the final steps in these negotiations."