State and provincial agriculture officials from North America met virtually last week for the 29th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord. The online event gathered members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their state and provincial counterparts from Mexico and Canada. Much of the discussion focused on the importance of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Ryan Quarles led the U.S. delegates. The Mexican delegation was led by Secretary Carlos Muñiz Rodríguez, Hidalgo Ministry of Agricultural Development, and President of the Mexican Association of Secretaries of Agriculture and Rural Development (AMSDA). Manitoba Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Blaine Pedersen led the Canadian Delegation.
“The USMCA has delivered an era of modernized free and fair trade which will secure North America as the most powerful trading bloc in the world,” Quarles said in a press release. “By leveraging our growing power as a North American trade alliance, we will expand the opportunities of current and future generations of farmers. And there’s no doubt state and provincial governments play a key role in this success.”
During the Tri-National Agricultural Accord representatives from the three countries held sessions centered on the implementation of the USMCA. Other topics covered during the event included the future of agriculture and its relation to innovative technology, the prevention and response to African Swine Fever, and the active response to COVID-19. The three representatives also issued a joint statement detailing the opportunities the USMCA provides for each country.
“The delegates affirmed the numerous mutual benefits of our relationship under this new agreement including how States and Provinces will play a key role in its implementation and success,” the statement read. “Delegates likewise recognize how acting in concert as a North American trading block can leverage the capability of our food and agriculture industries to compete successfully in the global market with the benefit of expanding opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers to succeed in the agricultural enterprise.”