North American Trilateral Technical Working Group on Pesticides
The CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC Trilateral Technical Working Group on Pesticides was first established under the former NAFTA provisions on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The role of the Technical Working Group is to serve as a focal point for addressing pesticide issues arising in the context of liberalized trade among the three countries. In fact, NAFTA ushered in a new level of cooperation among the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States. The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) highlights the importance of promoting trade and regional cooperation among governments. The agreement has also established various mechanisms for the governments to collaborate on issues of key importance.
Since its creation in 1997, the Technical Working Group has maintained a primary focus on facilitating cost-effective pesticide regulation and trade among the three countries. The Technical Working Group does this through harmonization and work sharing, while recognizing the resolve of the Parties to "protect human, animal, or plant life or health in the territories of the Parties and advance science-based decision making while facilitating trade between them", in accordance with the Agreement's preamble.
Cooperation has included a wide range of activities:
- Sharing information
- Undertaking collaborative scientific work
- Forging common data requirements
- Collaborating on risk assessment or compliance methods
- Carrying out joint reviews
- Developing common or international standards.
The Technical Working Group is comprised of individuals from the member governments, but works closely with external stakeholders. The Technical Working Group is led by an Executive Board that provides overall leadership and policy direction. The Executive Board members are:
- Director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Office of Pesticide Program (OPP),
- Executive Director of the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and
- General Director, from the National Service of Agro-Food Health, Safety and Quality, known as SENASICA, from the Mexican agriculture ministry (Secretaria de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, SADER)
The Technical Working Group Secretariat provides overall coordination of the Technical Working Group's activities and consists of staff-level representatives from all three countries.
Each CUSMA partner maintains their own website.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Pesticide Programs
- Mexico Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER)
- Mexico Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk (COFEPRIS)
Strategies, accomplishments and planning
The North American Initiative for Pesticides of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Committee) lays the foundation for the activities of the Trilateral Technical Working Group on Pesticides.
A series of strategic plans support the Technical Working Group's goal of creating an aligned North American registration system for pesticides and products treated with pesticides. Every five years the accomplishments of the Technical Working Group are assessed and new strategic plans are adopted.
The strategic plans are implemented through a series of projects on specific issues, led by senior-level scientific and regulatory managers that detail co-operative efforts and work plans on specific issues.
Projects which resulted in the publication of guidance documents are listed below.
- Data Requirements for Tolerances on Imported Commodities in the United States and Canada
- Updated Procedures for the Joint Review of Biopesticides
- Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships
- Developmental Neurotoxicity Study (DNT) Guidance Document
To maintain open communications, the Technical Working Group on Pesticides meets on a 12 to 18-month cycle with a broad number of participants – the Executive Board, regulatory officials, growers, industry and public interest groups. In addition, a government only meeting is held for the Executive Board and other regulatory officials.
Technical Working Group meeting summaries are published to report on key outcomes of the meetings.
- Request the North American Trilateral Technical Working Group on Pesticides: March 2022 Meeting Summary
- Request the Trilateral Stakeholder Workshop and Conference on Pesticides: 2020 Meeting Summary
- Request the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides: 2019 Meeting Summary
- Request the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides: 2017 Meeting Summary
Consistent with Government principles of openness and transparency, archived meeting summaries are available upon request by contacting the Pest Management Information Service. You may also consult the United States Environmental Protection Agency website.
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