Produce Industry Organizations React to New Deal Trade with Mexico and Canada
Over the weekend, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada reached a new agreement to rebalance trade between the countries. Food and agricultural product that had zero tariffs under North American Free Trade Agreement will remain at zero tariffs.
“For the first time, the agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to support 21st Century innovations in agriculture,” writes Matt McInerney, Senior Executive Vice President for Western Growers. “The text covers all biotechnologies, including new technologies such as gene editing, whereas the Trans-Pacific Partnership text covered only traditional rDNA technology.”
McInerney says another key part of the agreement for specialty crop growers has enhanced rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
“Provisions include increasing transparency on the development and implementation of SPS measures; advancing science-based decision-making; improving processes for certification, regionalization, and equivalency determinations; conducting systems-based audits; improving transparency for import checks; and working together to enhance compatibility of measures. The new agreement would establish a new mechanism for technical consultations to resolve issues between the parties,” he writes.
Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association, indicated trade was a key issue addressed during United Fresh’s annual Washington Conference and the inaugural Global Trade Forum.
“The strong relationships our members have established between these three countries have helped enable the growth of the fresh produce industry over the last quarter century,” he said in a statement. “The announcement of this revised agreement highlights the importance of our continued engagement on key policy issues by those in the produce industry.”