Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and their state and provincial counterparts from Mexico and Canada has issued a joint statement underscoring the role of states and provinces in successful implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. North American state and provincial agriculture officials gathered virtually last week for the 29th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord.
NASDA President and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles led the U.S. delegation for the conference.
"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," says Quarles. "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."
Beyond the joint statements on the bilateral meetings with Canada and Mexico, the three countries held productive sessions on USMCA implementation; state and provincial response to COVID-19; prevention, surveillance and rapid response to African swine fever; and the future of agriculture through innovation including gene editing.
"As state and provincial governments, we are the leaders best suited to address the local and regional concerns of our farming communities. Our mutual response efforts to the global COVID-19 pandemic are critical to the resilience of our rural communities, and strength of our increasingly more connected food supply chain. Together we will work with our federal governments to expand resource availability specifically to state and provincial agriculture departments for pandemic response efforts," Quarles says.
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 led the Canadian delegation while 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 is the Mexican equivalent of NASDA.
NASDA will host the 30th Annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord in Arlington, Va. on Oct. 25-27, 2021.