As two of the world’s largest agricultural producers and exporters, Brazil and the United States face many of the same challenges in foreign markets. To create a platform to share information, devise strategic interactions, and promote collaboration on a range of topics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA) formed the Consultative Committee on Agriculture (CCA) in 2003. The CCA and its working groups provide a cooperative forum to work towards fair trade policies for American and Brazilian products around the world. Despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, two CCA working groups recently held virtual meetings to allow subject matter specialists to exchange information and create strategies to promote science-based policies in foreign markets and international organizations.
On June 19, USDA and MAPA convened a virtual meeting of the High Level Working Group to Promote Cooperation and Coordination (HLCCWG). The group discussed challenges faced by U.S. and Brazilian agricultural products in third-country markets; strategies to develop fair international standards, guidelines, and recommendations; and opportunities to collaborate on agricultural research. The bilateral discussion at the HLCCWG included a range of topics, including the EU’s maximum residue level policy, pesticide policies in third-country markets, and coordination in advance of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee meeting that was held on June 24-25.
Building on the coordinated approach ahead of the WTO meeting, the United States and Brazil introduced a proposed Sanitary and Phytosanitary Ministerial Declaration and Work Program with co-sponsors and other members. The document was well received and a wide range of countries voiced support and openness to it. This document strengthens science-based rules of trade in agriculture and expands the coalition of like-minded countries who support it.
On June 30, USDA and MAPA convened a virtual meeting of the High Level Working Group on Biotechnology (HLBWG) to share information and find areas of mutual interest regarding new agricultural technologies. The group discussed regulatory developments in third-country markets, coordination in regional and international fora, and strategies to promote science-based regulation of new agricultural technologies. The Brazilian and American participants agreed to continued collaboration to address common challenges faced by agricultural producers and exporters in both countries.