Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their counterparts from Mexico and Canada plan to gather in Winnipeg, Man., this week for the 28th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord.
The Tri-National Agricultural Accord represents a long-standing commitment among the senior state and provincial agricultural officials of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to work together collaboratively on agricultural trade and development issues.
The importance of the cooperative relationship for the agriculture and food processing sectors of all three countries, especially as they work to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will be the key focus of this year's accord.
“It has been more than a year since our governments negotiated the USMCA. The Tri-National Agricultural Accord gives us an opportunity to work with our counterparts from Mexico and Canada to once again call on our legislative bodies to ratify this agreement,” NASDA president and North Dakota agriculture commissioner Doug Goehring said. “From dairy to wine to biotechnology advancements, implementation of the USMCA addresses many issues. We look forward to gathering in Manitoba this week to further our collaborative relationships for the benefit of North American producers.”
Issues of bilateral concern and agreed-upon approaches to working on them are captured in working group plans that are established at the annual meeting and modified as necessary through the course of the year.
The review of activities under the previous year's bilateral work plans and establishment of work plans for the coming year have become the main focus of the annual accord meeting. Since this dialogue mechanism was adopted, there have been more regular exchanges and ad hoc bilateral and trilateral meetings covering trade concerns as well as other emerging issues such as biotechnology.
Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba minister of agriculture and resource development, is hosting this year's Tri-National Agricultural Accord and leading the Canadian delegation. The U.S. delegation will be led by Goehring. The Mexican delegation will be led by Mexico's undersecretary of agriculture Miguel Garcia Winder.
Practical aspects of the accord interaction are managed by NASDA on behalf of U.S. states and by the Mexican Association of Secretaries of Rural Development (AMSDA) on behalf of Mexico's states. Coordination of accord work for the Canadian provinces is handled by the Federal-Provincial Agricultural Trade Policy Committee, which is made up of trade policy specialists from the provincial agriculture ministries, with coordination provided by an executive secretary. The executive secretary's position is supported by the federal Department of Agriculture & Agri-Food in Ottawa, Ont.