NPPC's Cody McKinley Highlights the Impact Ongoing Trade Barriers are Having on US Pork ProducersTue, 06 Aug 2019 13:10:32 CDT
During the 2019 Oklahoma Pork Congress, Oklahoma pork industry stakeholders heard from Cody McKinley, assistant vice president of state and national relations for the National Pork Producers Council, about the current US trade relations situation and how that is impacting the US pork industry. According to him, some movement has been made in recent months yet the Administration continues to struggle to move passed the negotiating table. McKinley sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn after his presentation to discuss further the impact that these ongoing trade barriers is having on American pork producers. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Producers have been battling trade barriers here for a long time now and this Administration has had a few hiccups but we understand where the President is at and we hope is going in the right direction,” McKinley said. “The President came in and has really been focused on righting some of these trade deficits with countries we have an imbalance with. And to get them to the table he’s had to use tariffs which is clearly an effective practice.”
Using tariffs however, McKinley explains, is a tactic that has cost not only our reluctant trading partners but domestic producers as well. The President’s 20% metal tariffs on Mexico and Canada we particularly harmful to the pork industry. Earlier this year, those tariffs were finally lifted. McKinley says the NPPC was integral in convincing the President to do so in order to relieve diplomatic tensions and pave the way forward on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which he agrees is the lynchpin to getting negotiations with other foreign entities like Japan and the European Union underway. Mexico has already ratified the USMCA and Canada’s Parliament would likely call a special session to do the same if Congress can ever move forward on its own vote. Once that happens and the USMCA is ratified, McKinley says the Administration would be free to turn its attention on negotiating other agreements. But, when this will all come to pass McKinley says remains a mystery.
“I think all of agriculture - the whole barnyard is coming together and ramping up for passage on this. But it takes time and folks have to work through the issues,” he said. “So, we’re hoping there is an opportunity this fall to put it in front of Congress, get a vote on it and get this baby implemented.”
Meanwhile, trade tensions seem to be flaring with China and each day with the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership now in play, the US loses more and more market share in Japan to its competitors. McKinley says this underscores the urgency in getting deals established. While the situation is less than desirable, though, McKinley says the good news is that the lines of communication have remained open.
“Communication is key and they’re continuing to meet and talk and that’s a good thing,” McKinley remarked. “We know the President is working to right some things that were wrong but the sooner we can get these things going, the sooner our producers have the opportunity to pour pork into those markets.”
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