News Release - May 5, 1999
WIENS TO CONTINUE DIALOGUE ON AGRICULTURAL TRADE AND OTHER CROSS-BORDER ISSUES IN NORTH DAKOTA
Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Berny Wiens is
travelling to the U.S to continue a discussion on trade issues
relevant to farmers and the economy of Saskatchewan in general. Wiens
today leads a delegation of officials to North Dakota to meet with
Lieutenant-Governor Rosemary Myrdal and senior members of the North
Dakota state administration.
The meeting parallels a March 31, 1999 trip to Montana, where Wiens
met with Lieutenant-Governor Judy Martz and senior administration
officials for agriculture and other key sectors.
"Saskatchewan farmers want us to find co-operative solutions to the
issues that divide us," Wiens said. "The kind of trade restricting
legislation that was recently proposed in North Dakota serves no one
in the long run. The strong cross border relationship that we are
building with the governor's office is the right way to make sure
farmers on both sides of the border can prosper."
Saskatchewan government officials accompanying Wiens will meet with
their North Dakota counterparts to discuss such issues as agriculture,
environment and resource management and transportation.
Wiens will raise two key agricultural trade issues with
the need to develop on-going, high-level consultation
mechanisms between Saskatchewan and North Dakota to
facilitate the management of trade issues at an early stage
before they escalate into formal disputes and in a way that
should ensure the free flow of cross-border trade to our
mutual benefit; and,
the desirability of co-operative province-state action in
this area, such as participation of both parties in their
respective federal teams working on the recent Canada-U.S.
Record of Understanding on Agricultural Trade in order to
expedite the resolution of cross-border irritants to our
"In my view, the issues faced by American and Canadian producers
are very similar," Wiens said. "Low commodity prices,
trade-distorting subsidies and international trade barriers
threaten farmers on both sides of the border. With better
communication and co-operation, Saskatchewan and North Dakota
farmers can face these challenges together and the entire
agricultural region can benefit."
- 30 -
For more information, contact:
Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs
Phone: (306) 787-8008