USMEF leadership and senior staff participated in many aspects of the Cattle Industry Annual Convention. The event opened Wednesday, Jan. 31 and concluded Saturday, Feb. 3 in Phoenix.
USMEF’s booth at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show was a popular destination for producers and other beef industry leaders seeking information about U.S. beef exports and the state of the global beef trade. Visitors were able to gain valuable information about how their beef checkoff investment supports international marketing of U.S. beef as well efforts to improve and maintain access to key markets.
USMEF Chair Dennis Stiffler noted that while producers are very encouraged by the upward trend in U.S. beef exports and the returns those exports deliver, they are concerned about the uncertain trade environment.
“More and more producers are becoming familiar with the benefits of trade and the importance of exports to their operations’ bottom line,” Stiffler said. “But along with that comes a growing concern about U.S. beef’s access to international markets. With our exiting of TPP and the current negotiations involving NAFTA and the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, there is some trepidation out there about what will happen and on what timeline. Producer are certainly concerned about potential setbacks for U.S. beef exports and possibly opening doors for our competitors in key markets.”
On Friday afternoon, the Beef Checkoff Program’s Export Growth Committee received updates on U.S. beef’s performance in specific international markets from USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom, Assistant Vice President for International Marketing and Programs Greg Hanes and Assistant Vice President for Industry Relations John Hinners. CEO Emeritus Philip Seng also previewed the upcoming 2018 World Meat Congress. USMEF will provide more details on the Export Growth Committee meeting in next week’s Export Newsline.