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NASDA leaders and counterparts urge full ratification of the USMCA

Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and their state and provincial counterparts from Mexico and Canada are urging ratification of the US Mexico Canada Agreement.

The ag leaders met for the 28th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord last week in Canada. The Accord represents a longstanding commitment among senior state and provincial officials in the three countries to work together on ag trade and development issues.

NASDA President and North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring says the biggest take away was a joint statement from the three countries… “Looking at the full implementation and full enforcement of USMCA- enforcement has been an issue that’s been raised in the House from time to time,” he says. “Second, the joint statement calls on the United States and Canada governments to look at immediate ratification of the USMCA.”

He tells Brownfield there aren’t a lot of congressional working days left in the year, but they remain hopeful.

“We have fourteen working days maybe– we need to impress upon congress and the house to take this up,” he says. “We need to move on it and stop sitting in denial or neutral and stop not moving forward.”

The three countries also held sessions during the Tri-National Ag Accord on the efforts of sub-national governments to prevent and respond to African Swine Fever. Goehring says the statement expressed appreciation to federal partners for their leadership on ASF but also recognized that state and provinces have a unique role to play.

“It’s important that we’re there at the table because we’re the ones that are the first line of defense and we really need to collectively and independently work toward better biosecurity,” he says. “…we’re trying to look at the whole picture but really we have to stay focused on the prevention aspect and containment and hoping that we don’t have anything here in the North American continent, but if so what are the steps in place for such a mobile society.”

NASDA will host next year’s Tri-National Agricultural Accord in October in Arlington, Virginia.

Audio: Dave Goehring, NASDA President

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