Biosecurity, Borders and Trade
A one-day conference was organized in conjunction with the annual meeting of senior state and provincial agricultural officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico on May 15-17, 2002. The conference was particularly relevant to state and federal government officials and those firms whose businesses involve international trade in agricultural products.
Rather than emphasizing government policies, this conference focused on partnerships, protocols, and business arrangements developed to keep trade flowing while addressing government security concerns. These may be private-private and public-private partnerships or coalitions. Speakers addressed specific challenges encountered, solutions developed, and strategies that engaged public and private sector stakeholders whose cooperation was essential to success. Solutions may involve steps at the point of manufacture right through to customer receipt to assure that the product in question meets an acceptable security standard.
Speakers challenged business-as-usual approaches and perspectives on border security questions. The goal was to raise fundamental questions about: the assessment of risk; trust between public and private entities and between national governments; and what can and cannot be accomplished in border inspection facilities.