10-20-17 CDA: NAFTA Negotiations High Stakes for Ag Say North American Ag Officials


CLICK HERE to watch the webcast archives from Day 1, October 18, 2017 & the subsequent Press Conference, courtesy of The BARN/BARN Media/CO Ag News Network

NAFTA Negotiations High Stakes for Ag Say North American Ag Officials

Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their counterparts from Mexico and Canada today stressed the necessity of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for agriculture and called on their respective federal governments to ensure a modernized NAFTA does not harm agriculture. North American state and provincial agriculture officials are gathered this week in Denver, Colorado for the 26th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord. The Tri-National Agricultural 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.

CO Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown

“I would like to commend the delegates from Canada and Mexico for joining us at the table for these discussions.  International trade with our neighbors to the north and south are of vital importance to our economy and quality of life. The Tri-National Agricultural Accord is a tremendous opportunity to discuss the importance of NAFTA and the value of cooperative partnerships. We are proud to host this year’s conference in Colorado and consider it a true success.  Our farmers and ranchers deserve to have a voice in these discussions and we at the Colorado Department of Agriculture will work tirelessly for them every day.” 

–Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown

Speaking in a united voice on behalf of agriculture across North America, U.S., Canadian, and Mexican agriculture officials released the following joint statement on the importance of NAFTA for agriculture and food processing:

The Ministers, Secretaries, Commissioners, and Directors of the State and Provincial departments of agriculture from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. emphasize the vital importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the agriculture and food processing industries across the continent.  Since NAFTA came into effect, these industries have become increasingly integrated, helping North America become a competitive force internationally. The ability to coordinate, collaborate, and create agriculture and food products together has made North America a successful economic region that is well positioned to continue providing the world with high-quality and safe food. Delegates discussed the importance of NAFTA and the usefulness of state and provincial attendance at negotiating rounds to directly engage federal negotiators on agri-food discussions.

As negotiations proceed, we encourage our respective federal governments to:

  1. Swiftly modernize NAFTA in a way that does not harm North America’s agriculture and food processing industries so that these industries can have the certainty to invest for the long term and continue to work together and prosper.
  2. Enhance and formalize mechanisms for States and Provinces to consult with the federal Consultative Committees on Agriculture (CCA) and to serve as official advisors to their relevant committees. Input from state and provincial representatives will help ensure a comprehensive understanding of issues under consideration and their impacts. In addition, we encourage the formalization of the CCAs into NAFTA.
  3. Build upon and enhance the work of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), U.S.-Mexico High-Level Regulatory Cooperation Council (HLRCC), and trilateral regulatory cooperation bodies to improve regional cooperation, regulatory harmonization, and trade facilitation. Further, we support coordination across governments to ensure a coherent regulatory approach that reduces duplicative requirements and is science-based, transparent, and impartial.
  4. Modernize the agreement’s Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) provisions to ensure effective and timely communication, cooperation, science-based decision making, and transparency.
  5. Maintain robust, rapid and legally binding dispute resolution mechanisms in NAFTA that are fair and impartial. This includes preserving and strengthening the mechanisms in Chapter 19.

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.

The Tri-National Agricultural Accord is hosted by one of the three countries each year. In the United States, the Accord is hosted through the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). The 2018 Tri-National Agricultural Accord will be hosted by Mexico.

nasda-national-association-of-state-departments-of-agriculture-logo

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.

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