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Meat Institute, USHSLA Sign Multi-Association Letter Urging Commerce Secretary to Preserve Gains for Food, Agriculture Sectors From NAFTA

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) withdrawal would cause immediate, substantial harm to the American food and agriculture industries and to the U.S. economy as a whole, according to a multi-association letter that was signed by the Meat Institute and U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) and sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. In the letter, the organizations cite economic and trade data to highlight NAFTA's positive impact on America's food and agriculture sectors - including the meat and poultry industry - underscoring the fact that Canada and Mexico are now the largest export consumers of U.S. agricultural products.

NAFTA withdrawal, the organizations contend, would "trigger a substantial, immediate response in commodity markets as market-specific focus would turn to a scheduled return to trade-prohibitive tariff rates." Even the threat of withdrawal is encouraging competitors like Brazil, Argentina and the European Union to push for increased market access in Canada and Mexico, which would place U.S. businesses and workers at a competitive disadvantage, the letter continues.

The organizations request that the Administration take a "do no harm" approach regarding food and agriculture trade in NAFTA negotiations, by working to preserve and expand market access for U.S. agricultural products in Canada and Mexico.

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