Cattlemen Applaud Administration's Stated Goals for Renegotiating NAFTA

17, 2017) -- The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today said the Trump
Administration’s overall goals for renegotiating the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) are beneficial to the U.S. beef industry because they
encourage the continuation of terms that have benefitted the industry for
decades – specifically duty-free access and science-based sanitary and
phytosanitary standards. The Administration this afternoon sent their goals to
Capitol Hill.


“As we have said
before, it is difficult to improve upon duty-free, unlimited access to Canada
and Mexico—and we are pleased that USTR’s objectives for NAFTA include
maintaining existing reciprocal duty-free market access for agricultural
goods,” NCBA President Craig Uden said. Uden said NCBA will continue to support
the inclusion of strong sanitary and phytosanitary standards in NAFTA.


NCBA has been an outspoken
supporter of NAFTA because the terms of NAFTA developed Canada and Mexico into
two very important export markets for U.S. beef. NCBA has expressed concern
that any changes to the terms of NAFTA that impact beef and cattle trade may
jeopardize the industry's current access to Canada and Mexico.


While there may be calls from other
segments of agriculture and other industries to update or renegotiate the terms
of NAFTA, NCBA strongly encourages the Trump Administration to focus its
efforts on those specific areas and leave alone the terms of NAFTA that have
greatly benefitted the U.S. beef and cattle industry.


NCBA will continue to advise the
Trump Administration and Congress to not repeat the mistakes of the past by
using NAFTA to resurrect failed government marketing programs, such as
Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (MCOOL).


“As we learned from history, MCOOL
failed to deliver higher values for producers or a safer food supply,” Uden
said. “It did, however, result in further consolidation in the U.S. beef
industry and the potential for $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs from Canada
and Mexico. We must learn from the mistakes of the past, not repeat them.”


Source: NCBA