USMEF Head Advises Beef Industry Not to Let "Protectionism" Get in the Way of Its Own SuccessFri, 03 Feb 2017 17:38:34 CST
After a tough few years, the beef industry has seen exports on the global marketplace rebound quite well recently. According to US Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng, who spoke recently to Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, this movement of product through the export channel has been a testament to the quality and quantity of protein made available by American beef producers. He says there is a growing population out there and they are developing a taste for American made beef.
“It looks like this year we’re going to finish exports over 10 percent as far as our export performance,” Seng reported. “That’s a significant growth compared to where we’ve been.”
Part of that he says, are the many inroads that have been made with developing markets such as Korea, where exports into that country have grown to 38 percent, replacing Australia with the US as the Asian nation’s top beef supplier. In Japan, too, Seng reports that American beef exports are up dramatically. The same goes for Taiwan, Mexico and Canada. Strange to think since many of these markets were considered developed and mature.
“Just because a market is developed doesn’t mean it doesn’t continue developing,” retorts Seng. “We’re seeing all kinds of dynamics in Japan and I think that the changing nature of food consumption, especially meat consumption is allowing for more of it to come in.”
But to keep this momentum going, Seng argues that trade must be able to move without interruption or setback. He says he was recently emboldened by statements made by one of the fastest growing markets, the Chinese, who last year expressed their hopes to reopen their doors to American beef. Those negotiations are in the works right now, he says, but warns of possible interference by new sentiments of “protectionism” sweeping across the country.
“Protectionism is the enemy of the producer,” Seng remarked. “Anything that we can do to rollback protectionism, anything that we can do to have access to these markets, continue that access - it’s important. Anything that would create barriers, anything that would impede product flow, this has to be stopped. So, protectionism is something we all have an interest in fighting.”
Listen to Hays’ full interview with Seng as they discuss the role the American beef industry is playing in the global marketplace and what factors are at play there, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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