"There is a real sincerity evident today on both sides of this symbolic 'border,' as we come together on this agreement," said J. Patrick Boyle, AMI president and CEO, in addressing the more than 50 international trade group officials, who faced each other at a formal assembly held in conjunction with the Worldwide Food Expo here. "We need to work together to share information cooperatively to help our respective governments make the best possible decisions on issues affecting our industries."
The Memo of Understanding signed by U.S. and Mexican industry officials contained the following key points:
"The meat and poultry industries of Mexico and the United States commit to engage in consultations to make their best efforts to achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution of outstanding issues related to United States and Mexico meat and poultry trade policy, health and sanitary issues.
"The meat and poultry industries of Mexico and the United States will establish a working group (the U.S.-Mexico Meat and Poultry Trade Advisory Committee, or MPTAC), to resolve trade issues of mutual concern and will develop a specific agenda as soon as possible.
"The MPTAC will enhance bilateral trade to benefit both countries and set the stage for improved communications and coordination in a number of areas, including trade policy, food safety, research and sanitary issues."
The officials signing the historic document on behalf of their respective organizations included:
- J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute
- Phillip Seng (represented by Richard Fritz), U.S. Meat Export Federation
- James Sumner, U.S.A. Poultry and Egg Export Council
- Hector Rodriguez Licea, Asociacion Nacional de Establecimientos TIF
- Cesar S. de Anda Molina, Union Nacional de Avicultores
- Daniel Curiel Rodriguez, Consejo Mexicano de la Carne
MPTAC officials agreed to meet no less than twice a year, and submit all recommendations to a vote of concurrence among the groups' co-chairs. A number of working sub-groups of both private sector and government representatives may also be formed to address particular issues as necessary, but will report to the full MPTAC group.