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Audio: Canadian Parliament’s Approval of USMCA Another Major Step toward Implementation

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On March 13, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) took another major step toward implementation as both houses of the Canadian Parliament gave final approval to legislation ratifying the agreement. The Canadian House of Commons had been expected to resume debate on the bill, which was reported out of committee in late February and initially debated on the House floor a few days earlier. But lawmakers agreed to approve USMCA before taking a five-week break due to concerns related to coronavirus.

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom explains that when implemented, USMCA will solidify trade relations in North America and preserve duty-free access to Canada and Mexico for U.S. pork, beef and lamb.

Last year U.S. pork exports to Canada were nearly 215,000 metric tons, the largest since 2013. Export value was more than $800 million – the highest since 2014. This was an especially strong performance considering that Canadian pork was shut out of China for nearly half the year. Now that Canada is once again exporting large quantities of pork to China, domestic supplies are expected to tighten and this should open up additional opportunities in Canada for U.S. pork.

U.S. beef exports to Canada trended lower in 2019 but still topped $650 million. Exports of cooked and prepared beef products were impacted in the first half of the year by retaliatory duties imposed as part of the steel and aluminum tariff dispute. Halstrom notes that implementing USMCA could help the U.S. industry avoid this type of situation in the future.

Transcript

Joe Schuele: Before adjourning for five weeks due to concerns about the coronavirus, the Canadian parliament approved legislation ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. In this U.S. Meat Export Federation Report, President and CEO Dan Halstrom has more on this important step toward implementation of USMCA and the importance of the Canadian market to the U.S. red meat industry.

Dan Halstrom: The Canadian Parliament on Friday ended up voting in the USMCA, this is great news and we are very pleased they were able to prioritize that, especially since the lawmakers up in Canada are taking a five-week break due to the coronavirus. So, they were able to get this done, one of their last bits of legislation. They really solidifies trade relations in North America and preserves that duty-free access between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, which is really big for the U.S. beef, pork and lamb industries. Last year, in 2019, we ended up 215,000 metric tons exported to Canada on the pork side, the largest year on pork exports since 2013. On the value side we were right at $800 million, which is the highest year since 2014. Considering that Canadian pork was shut out of China for nearly half the year, I think that turned out to be a pretty good year for U.S. exports up to Canada on the pork side.

Joe Schuele: U.S. beef exports to Canada trended lower in 2019, but that was due in part to retaliatory duties on cooked and prepared beef products that were in place during the first half of the year.

Dan Halstrom: Beef exports still were over $650 million up to Canada in 2019, and we are extremely happy the duty-free status has been restored and we are in the final stages of getting USMCA implemented now with Canada passing it. It will really help us avoid this sort of situation in the future.

Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit USMEF.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.