The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Pesticides is a collaboration among the pesticides regulatory government agencies of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The objectives of TWG are:
-to develop easier and less expensive pesticide regulation
-trade among the three countries
-meet the environmental, ecological, and human health objectives of NAFTA.
The NAFTA TWG was established in 1997, to streamline certain pesticide shipments between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
The Five-Year Strategy which is being implemented by the TWG reaffirms the goals of the TWG’S 1997 and 2003 strategic plans and outlines key objectives and work areas to guide the TWG’s efforts through 2013. The EPA Office of Pesticides Program and its NAFTA partners have completed more than 19 projects since 1998. These projects have improved food safety, risk reduction, and trade of agricultural commodities. The projects included collaboration on scientific studies and coordinating registration of new pesticides and uses.
The TWG is led by an Executive Board that provides overall guidance and policy direction. The Executive Board members are:
-Director of the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP),
-Executive Director of the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and
-General Director for Agri-foods, Aquaculture, and Fisheries in the Mexican agriculture ministry known as Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA)
Senior-level regulatory and scientific managers from the various agencies also participate in the TWG. The TWG Secretariat provides overall coordination of the TWG’s activities and consists of staff-level representatives from all three countries.
There are two NAFTA TWG meetings a year: a government-only meeting with the Executive Board and other regulatory officials and a government-stakeholder meeting with the Executive Board, regulatory officials, and interested stakeholders such as growers, industry, and public interest groups. The public is consulted in advance of these meetings to identify topics of interest, and public meeting summaries are published to report on key outcomes from the meetings.