NASDA will virtually host the 29th Annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord Meeting next week, October 20-22. Expecting the largest ever attendance, delegates from the state and provincial departments of agriculture from the United States, Mexico, and Canada will gather to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), COVID-19 response, African swine fever, gene editing, and more.

The U.S. delegation lead, currently at 32 states strong, is NASDA President and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. The Canadian delegation will be led by Manitoba Minister of Agriculture & Resource Development Blaine Pedersen and the Mexican delegation will be led by Hidalgo Secretary of Agricultural Development Carlos Muñiz Rodríguez.

The opening ceremony, which is open to registrants for free, will feature a keynote session from Ambassador Darci Vetter, former Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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 current arrangement is rooted in a U.S./Canada exchange dating from 1984. When efforts to expand the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to create a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) got underway in the early 1990s, it was decided to invite Mexico to participate in the Accord arrangement. The first trilateral Accord meeting took place in Puerto Vallarta in 1992. Since that year, an annual Accord meeting has rotated among the three countries.

Practical aspects of the Accord interaction are managed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) on behalf of U.S. states and by the Mexican Association of Secretaries of Rural Development (AMSDA) on behalf of the Mexican states. Coordination of Accord work for the Canadian provinces is handled by the Federal-Provincial Agricultural Trade Policy Committee (FPATPC). The FPATPC is made up of trade policy specialists from the provincial agriculture ministries, with coordination provided by an Executive Secretary.