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Meat Institute Applauds Signing of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, Encourages Swift Resolution to Tariffs Hindering U.S. Meat Exports

Monday, December 3, 2018

Attribute Statement to Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts:

Washington, DC – “The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) applauds the recent signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which modernizes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). USMCA represents a positive step in preserving duty-free access to two of the U.S. meat and poultry industry’s most critical foreign markets.

Under NAFTA, U.S. meat and poultry exports to Mexico and Canada have thrived as import duties were removed and non-scientific barriers to trade have been significantly reduced. The North American market for the meat and poultry industry is nearly completely integrated, and this integration is essential to its long-term viability.

Although the agreement signed last week safeguards the core tenets of NAFTA that have strengthened the U.S. meat sector and overall economy, those benefits will not be fully realized until the three countries work to remove tariffs currently in place. The Meat Institute continues to encourage the Administration to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico, and urges Canada and Mexico to, in turn, remove retaliatory tariffs on U.S. meat exports.

We look forward to working with the Administration and our counterparts in Canada and Mexico to support trade that is fair and upholds international standards to ensure USMCA implementation successfully achieves its intended purpose of improving North American trade through expanded market access with fewer barriers.

Mexico and Canada are among the top four destinations for U.S. beef and pork. Since NAFTA’s entry into force in 1994, U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $656 million to more than $1.7 billion in 2017, while pork exports increased in value from $322 million to more than $2.3 billion during that same time period. In terms of volume, Canada and Mexico imported nearly 30 percent of total U.S. beef exports and 40 percent of all U.S. pork exports in 2017 – figures that would have been unattainable without NAFTA.”

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