With the U.S. being a major trading partner for Prince Edward Island, provincial Economic Development Minister Heath MacDonald says he is keeping a close eye on NAFTA talks, which start Wednesday.

In an emailed statement, MacDonald said he's spoken with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland about how the deal could potentially affect P.E.I.

A report from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council this week noted U.S. trade is critical for Atlantic Canada, with $19 billion worth of goods exported last year. Export growth on P.E.I. has been particularly strong, up 11 per cent in the first half of this year.

MacDonald is looking for a focus on improving business relations with the U.S. and Mexico as well.

Freeland has released a list of 10 demands for a new North American Free Trade Agreement.

That includes things like making it easier for professionals to cross the border and cutting red tape.

With files from Stephanie Kelly