USMEF's Dan Halstrom Says New Deals Like the USMCA Vital for Sustainable Long-Term GrowthTue, 12 Feb 2019 11:11:17 CST
Historically, Canada and Mexico have been the US beef industry’s third and fourth largest export market destinations. Those relations were built and established under the terms of the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and are anticipated to improve under the new US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiated by the Trump Administration - if it can ever be ratified by the lawmakers of the three countries. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays spoke recently with President and CEO of the US Meat Export Federation Dan Halstrom about his perspective on the viability of this agreement.
“The final blueprint was pretty positive. The beauty of it is compared to Asia, the product mix is entirely different. You have a lot of rounds and a lot of variety meats going to Canada and Mexico that are not going to Asia - they complement each other,” Halstrom said. “All the more reason we have to have a timely conclusion to adopt the USMCA. The worse thing that can happen is a withdrawal from NAFTA and not getting a USMCA done because then we would be reverting back to pre-NAFTA duties of 20 percent on beef and we don’t need that.”
While the prospect of what could happen if the effort to ratify the USMCA falls through is frightening, Halstrom reassures that based on all he has been privy to, the outlook at getting the new deal across the finish line looks overall promising.
“We’re optimistic and I think the ag industry is optimistic that we’ll get a favorable outcome. But, we just have to make sure it stays on track,” he said, remarking that the same goes in striking a deal with one of our largest potential markets, China. “The good news on China, is that the beef that’s gotten in… the feedback has been phenomenal. We are struggling with these duties, but business continues and we’re optimistic that progress will be made on a deal that’s based on science and more sustainable for longer-term growth.”
Listen to Halstrom and Hays talking more in depth about the USMCA and other trade agreements being negotiated by the US, on today’s Beef Buzz - brought to you by the American Angus Association. America’s Breed.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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