Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their counterparts from Mexico and Canada this weekend concluded the 25th Annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord (Accord) in Niagara Falls, Canada, releasing a joint communique that highlighted the strength of the trilateral trading relationship and included joint U.S.-Canada statements on current challenges on dairy trade, provincial wine regulations, and Canadian requirements for U.S. wheat.
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. The U.S. delegation, the largest in recent years, was led by NASDA President and Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain.
Delegates from Canada and the U.S. had frank discussions on a number of challenging bilateral issues, including market access for U.S. dairy products to Canada, Canadian provincial regulations that impact U.S. wine exporters, and Canadian requirements for U.S. wheat.
Recent actions taken by Canada, including provincial actions and a recently concluded agreement between Canada’s dairy producers and processors, are especially concerning for NASDA and were a focus of the U.S. delegation’s efforts at the Accord.
“We are very concerned about recent developments in Canada with respect to the ability of U.S. dairy producers to export product into Canada. These developments raise serious questions about Canada’s compliance with international trade obligations under both the WTO and NAFTA, and threaten the principles negotiated under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” said Strain. “Throughout our bilateral conversations, we encouraged Canadian officials to address these concerns.”
In addition to bilateral discussions with Canada and Mexico, delegates also held trilateral discussions on a variety of issues affecting North American agriculture including the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, organic equivalency agreements, and a variety of animal and plant health and disease-related trade matters.
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 2017 Tri-National Agricultural Accord will be held in Denver, Colorado on October 17-19 under the leadership of Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown.
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.
Pictured (L to R) are the U.S. Delegation Leads: NASDA President and Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry Mike Strain, Michigan Director of Agriculture & Rural Development Jamie Clover Adams, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, and Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese.
NASDA Letter to Ontario Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal on Dairy Access Issues to Canada
NASDA Letter to Quebec Minister of Agriculture Pierre Paradis on Dairy Access Issues to Canada