Canada has purchased nearly 6,000 hectares of farmland to provide cover for its economy, the country’s foreign affairs minister said on Wednesday, the latest move by a government to shore up a fragile global financial sector.
“We are buying farmland in the United States to provide our domestic and international economy,” Michael Chong told reporters.
Chong said Canada would spend $6 billion over the next two years to cover the costs of buying farmland.
The purchase was approved by Finance Minister Bill Morneau in September and came as a result of a 2015 deal that created the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC).
The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed in July and includes a number of other agreements, including a deal to give Canada access to U.S.-made pharmaceuticals, a pact to ease travel rules between the two countries and a deal on trade in Canadian beef.
Canada, a member of the WTO and one of the world’s biggest exporters, has seen its exports of dairy products and other products drop due to lower demand in the U.K., China and Mexico.
Chong’s announcement comes at a time when Canadian agricultural production is expected to shrink this year due to a number to protect Canadian agriculture from rising prices in the market for its food and beverages.
“Canada has been working on this agreement for quite some time and we are very happy to be able to announce it now,” said Chong.
“I’m confident that this agreement will provide for the long-term stability and prosperity of the Canadian economy.”
A spokesman for Morneau said he would not comment on the specifics of the agreement, but did say Canada would be working with the U