MADISON — Last week, leadership and staff at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) participated in the 29th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord. The gathering was held virtually this year for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and took place from October 20-22, 2020. As the first Accord since the execution of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), the meeting focused on the ways in which these three countries can continue to strengthen and build the trans-national trading partnerships first established during NAFTA.
“DATCP is proud to contribute once again to this important dialogue,” said DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski. “Wisconsin’s farmers, agribusinesses, and all those along our food supply chain are relying on all of the participating partners to fully implement USMCA. The Accord is a critical way to keep that momentum going and secure the benefits that the agreement has promised Wisconsin farmers.”
The top priorities agreed upon by the three countries during the Accord include:
- Continue swift implementation and enforcement of USMCA provisions, including:
- Eliminate the “Class 6 & 7” milk classes in Canada
- Provide additional market access for U.S. dairy products
- Enhance rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures
- Maintain Mexican market access for U.S. cheeses marketed under certain names (geographic indicators)
- Maintain the robust collaboration between all three countries to prevent African Swine Fever (ASF) in North America using measures such as:
- Fortifying safeguards (such as import restrictions) to prevent ASF from reaching our shores
- Working with industry to strengthen biosecurity
- Conducting surveillance to identify gaps in our defenses against ASF
- Improving testing capacity and protocols
Delegates also discussed state and provincial responses to COVID-19 and the future of agriculture through innovation, including gene editing and biotechnology.
About the Tri-National Agricultural Accord
The Tri-National Agricultural Accord provides an opportunity for state and provincial governments in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to discuss the needs, challenges, and expectations of their respective agricultural industries in the North American marketplace, and work toward solutions.
Each country is represented by a delegation comprised of the leaders of state or provincial agricultural bodies. This year, delegates were led by:
- S.: Dr. Ryan Quarles, President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
- Canada: Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development
- Mexico: Carlos Muñiz Rodríguez, President of the Mexican Association of Secretaries of Agriculture and Rural Development (AMSDA) and Secretary of the Hidalgo Ministry of Agricultural Development NASDA will host the 30th Annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord in Arlington, Virginia on October 25-27, 2021.
— Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
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