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AMI Joins U.S. and Canadian Industry Associations to File Comments on North American Regulatory Cooperation

Monday, April 25, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

AMI earlier this month joined the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) and separately the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and National Meat Association (NMA) in filing comments with the U.S. Department of Commerce on regulatory cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  The comments were filed in response to U.S. Department of Commerce Notice: Request for Public Comments Concerning Regulatory Cooperation Activities That Would Help Eliminate or Reduce Unnecessary Regulatory Divergences in North America That Disrupt U.S. Exports (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/2011-4862.htm). 
 
The comments outlined the groups’ support of efforts to harmonize regulations between the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries to improve efficiency in meat and poultry trade and eliminate or reduce “unnecessary regulatory divergences” that hinder or disrupt U.S. exports. 

“Trade in livestock and meat products among the three countries is significant, with combined cross border trade exceeding $8.5 billion in 2010,” the groups wrote.   “This level of trade demonstrates the enormity and the importance of meat and poultry trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States.”

Among the six recommendations for regulatory reform to reduce costs and improve trade opportunities between Canada and the United States is eliminating re-inspection of meat at the Canada-U.S. border, starting with a pilot project to demonstrate feasibility.  The border inspections of approximately 10 percent of all Canadian and American meat are merely “re-inspections” of U.S. Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency-inspected meat. This step increases transportation costs and extends delivery times because of the distance of these facilities from the border crossings, as well as long delays during busy times. 

To read the six recommendations in their entirety, as included in the full comments submitted by AMI and the Canadian Meat Council, click here:  http://bit.ly/h3srNe

Additionally, AMI, USMEF, NPPC and NMA submitted to the Commerce Department 18 recommendations for suggestions on regulatory reform, cost reduction and improved trade between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.  The recommendations, among others, include adopting consistent standards for beef exports, harmonizing microbial standards and resolving the U.S. – Mexico NAFTA trucking dispute. 

To read these recommendations and the comments in their entirety, click here:  http://bit.ly/frF4Vr.

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