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PA NAFTA FOOD RESIDUES SUBCOMMITTEE SEEKS COMMENT ON DRAFT TRADE IRRITANT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

Release Date: 11/14/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1997
NAFTA FOOD RESIDUES SUBCOMMITTEE SEEKS COMMENT ON DRAFT TRADE IRRITANT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

The Food Residues Subcommittee of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Pesticides, has released for public comment a draft document outlining the definitions and resolution procedures for various types of pesticide tolerance and use related impediments to agricultural trade, usually referred to as “trade irritants.” The document enumerates the types of trade irritant issues that have been identified by interested parties, such as growers, importers, exporters, and government agencies. In addition, each issue is discussed and recommendations for resolving each type of issue are provided. NAFTA sets forth a number of committees and subcommittees to address implementation issues and harmonize trade regulations among member countries. One of these is TWG on Pesticides. Its goal is to develop a coordinated pesticide regulatory framework among NAFTA partners to address impediments to trade, build national regulatory/scientific capacity, share the review burden, and coordinate scientific and regulatory decisions on pesticides. Historically, Canada/United States Trade Agreement (CUSTA) and NAFTA committees have worked to identify and resolve trade irritants. However, what constituted a trade irritant has never been formally defined. To date, the work of the CUSTA/NAFTA committees has focussed only on pesticide tolerances that do not exist in the importing country. Over the last year, a number of other “trade irritant” issues have surfaced which now require the Food Residues Subcommittee to formally define the process for identifying, prioritizing, and resolving all identified trade irritants. The Food Residues Subcommittee has classified the trade irritants into five types, corresponding to various discrepancies that can exist between NAFTA member countries concerning pesticide tolerance levels and registered uses. The Food Residues Subcommittee invites all interested individuals and groups to provide comments. The document can be obtained from the NAFTA Special Docket, U.S. EPA, 401 M St., SW (7502C), Washington, DC 20460, tel. (703) 305-5805; and requesting a copy of “Draft Procedures for the Identification and Resolution of NAFTA Pesticide Trade Irritants,” or from EPA’s NAFTA website at: www.epa.gov/oppfead1/nafta. Comments should be sent to one of the Food Residue Subcommittee co-chairs listed in the document, and are due by Dec. 5, 1997.

R-165 ###