Vilsack nuanced in reactions to Canadian, Mexican ag officials
The Agriculture Department late Tuesday released statements that were different in nuance after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met virtually with Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Mexican Agriculture and Rural Development Secretary Victor Villalobos.
In the statement, USDA Communications Director Matt Herrick said:
“This morning, Secretary Vilsack had a friendly and constructive call with Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau. They discussed items of mutual interest and noted areas for future collaboration, including both countries’ commitment to a multilateral trading system that is rules- and science-based. Secretary Vilsack confirmed his interest in fully implementing the USMCA trade agreement, including Canadian commitments on dairy and wheat. Both sides recognized the importance of agriculture in dealing with climate challenges, and look forward to collaborating on ways to implement sustainable agricultural practices, and work together to fight animal and plant health threats.
“Secretary Vilsack had a productive and collaborative call with Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Victor Villalobos. They discussed the close agricultural relationship that benefits farmers and ranchers from both countries. They agreed on the importance of cross-border trade, and to implement policies in partnership. They also discussed the issue of potato imports pending before the Mexican Supreme Court. The secretary noted his hope that bilateral technical engagements could resume to finalize import requirements and fully open Mexico’s market to U.S. fresh potatoes. Finally, they acknowledged that through cooperation and with appreciation for natural resources, the United States and Mexico can be leaders in higher productivity, enhanced use of science and technology, and increased innovation that will allow us to meet the challenges of food security and climate change.”
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