NCBA President Testifies to the Value of TradeWed, 11 Jun 2014 12:42:49 CDT
The United States beef industry supports a strong export market. Today, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Victoria, Texas, cattleman, Bob McCan, testified before of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee expressing the benefits of expanding agricultural trade and eliminating barriers to U.S. exports.
“The elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers is a top priority for the U.S. beef industry, and I strongly encourage you to work with the Administration to craft current and future trade agreements based on free market, science-based principles,” McCan said.
Beef demand continues to increase around the world. In 2013, foreign consumers purchased 1.17 million metric tons of U.S. beef at a total of $6.1 billion. According to CattleFax, a global leader in beef industry research, analysis, and information, exports accounted for $307 per head of fed cattle in 2013.
“With 96 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the U.S., access to foreign markets is vital for the future success of U.S. beef producers and rural America,” McCan said. “For NCBA, the elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers is a top priority for the U.S. beef industry. If there is one industry that has witnessed both the benefits and tragedies of U.S. trade policy it is the U.S. beef industry.”
Free-trade agreements have led to increased profitability for producers and NCBA supports science-based and market-driven trade opportunities. In 1993, U.S. beef exports to Mexico were valued at $116 million. As a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico eliminated its 15 percent tariff on live cattle slaughter, the 20 percent tariff on chilled beef and the 25 percent tariff on frozen beef. In 2013, Mexico is now our third largest export market, valued at nearly $1 billion.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a new agreement that includes: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the U.S. NCBA believes TPP has the potential to open a number of export opportunities for the U.S. beef industry, but is currently limited by Japan.
“Japan’s unwillingness to abide by the principles of free trade threatens the entire process,” said McCan. “We encourage USTR to remain vigilant and to continue to push the Japanese toward tariff elimination on beef.”
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