North American Meat Institute Senior Vice President of International Affairs Bill Westman emphasized the critical importance of the Canadian and Mexican export markets to the long-term economic strength of the U.S. meat and livestock sectors in testimony before the U.S. International Trade Commission.  During the hearing, which sought input on the economic impact of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Westman affirmed that the entry into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement, USMCA’s predecessor, significantly increased U.S. meat and poultry exports to Canada and Mexico, as import duties were removed and non-scientific barriers to trade were reduced.

“The integration of the North American meat and livestock sectors is essential to the long-term viability of the U.S. meat and poultry industry,” Westman said in his testimony.  “Maintaining this integrated market has a direct impact on the millions of people employed directly and indirectly by our industry.”

Westman, in his testimony, offered specific examples of North American meat, cattle and leather industry market integration.  Westman explained the U.S. Northwest region exports 16-20 million pounds of beef and beef by-products annually to Canada and Mexico, with an estimated trade value of more than $30 million – figures that would be jeopardized without USMCA implementation.

In addition, Westman detailed the North American market’s central role in boosting incomes for millions of U.S. farmers, ranchers, meat and poultry processors, allied manufacturers and packaging and transportation companies.  Canada and Mexico provide important and profitable markets for the U.S.’s rural agriculture-based communities, Westman stressed.

Mexico and Canada are top-four destinations for U.S. beef and pork.  In 2017, U.S. red meat and poultry exports to Canada and Mexico totaled $5.5 billion, accounting for 30.4 percent of these product exports.

A copy of Westman’s testimony is available here.

Source: North American Meat Institute