“Don’t Jeopardize Our Success Under NAFTA”
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joined its cattle-industry partners in Canada and Mexico in sending a joint letter to the leaders of those two nations and to President Trump, urging the three leaders to not “jeopardize the success we have all enjoyed as partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement.”
The letter to President Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico was signed by NCBA President Craig Uden, Dan Darling, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas.
“Recent statements about the possible dissolution of NAFTA or potential renegotiation of NAFTA are deeply concerning to us because of the unnecessary risk it places on our producers,” the letter states. “While there may be general agreement among the countries to improve some parts of the NAFTA trade framework, we urge you to recognize that the terms of the agreement affecting cattle producers are strongly supported as they currently exist and should not be altered.”
The groups also urged Presidents Trump and Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau to “reject efforts to use NAFTA as a platform to resurrect failed policies, especially the misguided mandatory country-of-origin labeling policy that was the law of the United States for over seven years.”
“MCOOL failed to deliver its proponents’ promise to increase consumer demand or consumer confidence,” the groups said. “Instead, it created massive disruptions in live cattle trade that hurt beef producers across North America and jeopardized the jobs of American workers that depend on processing those cattle.”
NCBA has worked for years to expand access to foreign markets for America’s cattle and beef producers and in a February op-ed on CNN.com Uden called NAFTA “one of the greatest success stories in the long history of the U.S. beef industry.”
“Since NAFTA was implemented in 1993, exports of American-produced beef to Mexico have grown by more than 750%, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation,” Uden said. “In addition, exports now account for as much as 13% of overall U.S. beef production — and it’s more likely to be higher-quality cuts that bring in higher revenues for the hundreds of thousands of American families in the beef community.”