Dear Mr. President:
Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their counterparts from Mexico and Canada have just concluded a meeting of the 26th 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. The resulting communique from this dialogue is enclosed.
The Accord delegates from all three countries were unanimous – we strongly call for a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with no losses for the North American agri-food economy.
NAFTA has been beneficial for the agricultural sector in each country. Total U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled, growing from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38 billion in 2016. In 2016 this accounted for 25% of all U.S. agriculture exports. NAFTA has resulted in ample integration for both trading in agricultural products, as well as jointly producing products to the benefit of consumers in North America and indeed, the entire world.
The Accord dialogue highlighted areas of cooperation as well as areas where more work is needed. NASDA recognizes the opportunity our trilateral negotiations provide to strengthen the successful NAFTA agreement. NASDA’s expertise can be an asset to aid in resolving disagreements. NASDA members stand ready to work with you to support the NAFTA negotiations as cooperative partners. We look forward to a successful modernization of NAFTA.
Steven K. Reviczky
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Agriculture
cc. The Honorable Sonny Perdue, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Honorable Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative