In an announcement last week the province announced that Saskatchewan concluded a series of high-level meetings this week with two of its major trading partners at an international summit to advance the agricultural sector and support integrated supply chains across North America and beyond.
The annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord, held this year in Arlington, Virginia, is a meeting of ministers, commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture from Canadian provinces and U.S. and Mexican states, as well as senior officials from the three federal governments, to discuss agriculture and trade policy issues. Saskatchewan’s objectives for the meetings, held as an in-person/virtual hybrid event over three days, were to promote provincial agriculture export interests, build relationships with key federal and state officials, and advance discussions with the U.S. and Mexico on priority issues.
“The Tri-National Agricultural Accord is a valuable opportunity to discuss emerging issues facing the global agriculture sector that impact trade and rural development—issues of major significance to Saskatchewan,” Agriculture Minister David Marit said in a release.
Minister Marit, who participated virtually along with Canada’s delegation, co-chaired this year’s Accord with Richard Ball, Commissioner, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and Carlos Muñiz Rodríguez, Hidalgo State Secretary of Rural Development and president of the Asociación Mexicana de Secretarios de Desarrollo Agropecuario. Among the issues discussed of particular interest to Saskatchewan were regional collaboration on animal and plant pests and diseases, continued support for facilitating innovation in agriculture to meet our growth, sustainability and resiliency goals, regulatory cooperation and harmonization, and Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) committee governance. It was also an opportunity to share Canada’s revised risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and to learn that the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services is currently reviewing relevant regulations in light of this change, including certain import requirements for cattle and small ruminants from Canada.“The U.S. and Mexico continue to be top export markets for Canadian agriculture and food products, and both countries are key suppliers for us,” Marit said. “We appreciate being able to meet with our peers and partners, including government representatives and non-governmental and industry representatives, to examine and discuss our common interests, challenges and objectives in depth.”
The Tri-National Agricultural Accord will take place next year in Mexico, and was previously held by the U.S. virtually in 2020, in Winnipeg in 2019, and in Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 2018.