Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their state and provincial counterparts from Mexico and Canada today issued a joint statement calling on the United States and Canadian governments to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement as soon as possible. North American state and provincial agriculture officials are gathered this week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the 28th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord.
NASDA President and North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring underscored the opportunity USMCA creates for state and provincial governments.
“Over 25 years ago, NAFTA transformed agricultural trade in North America,” said Commissioner Goehring. “Now we have the opportunity to bring our trading relationship into the 21st century by ratifying the USMCA. Fully implementing and enforcing USMCA will help producers and processors in North American compete in the global marketplace. State and provincial governments are eager to enhance our cooperative leadership role under the new USMCA framework and stand ready to support our governments in ratification and implementation.”
Beyond action items on USMCA, the three countries held productive sessions on the efforts of sub-national governments to prevent and respond to African Swine Fever (ASF) in North America. The joint statement on ASF expressed appreciation to federal partners for their leadership on ASF and recognized that states and provinces have a unique role to play.
“We all have a shared responsibility to promote awareness about ASF and increase adoption of biosecurity best practices,” said Goehring. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with USDA and other stakeholders as we work to keep ASF out of North America.”
The Accord represents a longstanding commitment among the senior state and provincial agricultural officials of Canada, the United States, and Mexico to work together collaboratively on agricultural trade and development issues. Manitoba Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Blaine Pedersen hosted this year’s Tri-National Accord and lead the Canadian Delegation. The U.S. Delegation was led by NASDA President and North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. The Mexican delegation was led by Mexican Undersecretary of Agriculture Miguel Garcia Winder.
NASDA will host next year’s Tri-National Agricultural Accord in Arlington, Virginia on October 20-22, 2020.