This Year’s Tri-National Agriculture Accord looked to work out any kinks in the USMCA

It has now been four months since the U.S., Canada, and Mexico have been abiding by a new trade pact. The three nations know some kinks needed to be worked out. That was a big focus of this year’s Tri-National Agriculture Accord, which just wrapped up.

During the Tri-National Agricultural Accords, breakout groups focused on an integrated COVID-19 response, African swine fever prevention, and ag innovation.

The Kentucky Commissioner of Ag, Dr. Ryan Quarles, led the U.S. delegation for the conference and says that implementation of the USMCA is a priority.

“A lot of our time this week was spent brainstorming and also communicating to our federal government liaisons the status, as well as what these new framework committees would look like,” Dr. Quarles states. “So, we’re still in the very early implementation of the trade deal, but we are also mindful that there is a lot of work to be done, especially on technical issues.”

For COVID-19, the group worked on a long-term plan to address the stress points in the supply chain and the need for more personal protection equipment for packing plants and farm workers.

According to Carlos Muniz Rodriguez, Hidalgo Secretary of Agriculture, “Part of our sessions were dedicated to seeing the strategies that our different states had taken up in addressing issues with COVID-19 and being able to still deliver food to the tables of our Mexican families.”

While Europe and Asia struggle to control African swine fever, North America is looking to prevent the disease from ever entering the continent.

“It was really amazing to see the close connection between all three countries, our lead veterinarians and researchers working together... to hopefully keep the African swine fever out of North America, but also to come together to mitigate the impacts,” Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, states.

At the end of the event, delegates from the three countries signed a joint communique, reaffirming the role of states and provinces in the USMCA trade agreement.