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Agricultural News

Ethan Lane Says There’s a Lot to Celebrate in Beef This Year

Wed, 05 Feb 2020 10:59:25 CST

Ethan Lane Says There’s a Lot to Celebrate in Beef This Year

Cattle producers are gathering in San Antonio this week from all across the country for the Cattle Industries annual convention and trade show.

Radio Oklahoma Farm Director Ron Hays is in San Antonio covering the event, and he had the opportunity to catch up with Ethan Lane, the new head of the Washington DC office for NCBA. Lane says producers have a lot to celebrate this year, "We really do have a lot on our plate to celebrate this year, you know, going through our priorities list from last year's convention in New Orleans, there's a lot of green checkmarks this year. We've accomplished a lot, we've covered a lot of ground, trade has been a real bright spot this year, years and years of work on some of these access deals is starting to pay off. Between the Japan agreement that we saw back in the fall, that's now in effect. The phase one-China deal that we just saw signed. The increase in the quota going into the EU, these are big deals, not to mention USMCA is finally getting across the finish line late, but still there. With the resounding vote we knew it would have. That really gives us the ability to take some wins there and start focusing on where we go next. There's obviously going to be an implementational piece, we’re still waiting on some of the details of the China deal, but we like what we see so far. Now we can turn our attention to some of these other markets; we can start looking at more action in the EU, looking at the UK obviously now that Brexit has occurred, that's going to create some real opportunities for us. We also have a tremendous opportunity to, you know, grow that footprint in other parts of the world. Once you see countries like China start to step away from some of those non-scientific trade barriers, what a great record to start to push our quality product, what we're doing here in the US, and to tell that story to consumers that haven't had a chance to see it before. We really want to capitalize on that."

Lane says Of all the trade deals mentioned, it seems Japan has the most immediate impact for US Beef, "The infrastructure is there, it's already our largest trading partner with a $2 billion market for us. So coming down from that 38.5% tariff to join our competitors at 26, and on that track down to nine is a home run. Because we know that the Japanese market wants what we are selling, they like that flavor profile; they like our fed beef, they like what we produce. So giving us competitive access in there, and the fact that we were already doing $2 billion worth of business with that 38% tariff, speaks volumes about our customer base there, so that's really good news for us, and we're excited to see that move forward."

With a new clean water rule, or new WOTUS in place, Lane says we finally have a good solution to replace the 2015 rule, "That 2015 rule has been so problematic for producers. This has been a long time coming. It's been a long time in the works; there are a lot of different industries that come into play here. But having that clarity for our producers across the country is really a nice sigh of relief. Now we're going to have to go to court. I mean, you know, all good things have to go through the federal court system before they finally get worked out in today's political environment. But this is massive progress, and we can't overstate enough how excited we are just to be moving forward with a new rule. So now we'll work on implementing that, and hopefully, this is one we can put to bed, and get back to other issues."

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Ethan Lane as he talks With Ron Hays.

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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