U.S. bison meat has been added to the list of red meat products eligible for export to Mexico. This is a significant opening for U.S. bison meat, which has had little access to Western Hemisphere markets other than Canada. Exporters with questions may contact Cheyenne McEndaffer.
“We approached the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in 2018 with a request to petition Mexico to open its market to us, because some of our marketers had received calls from distributors in Mexico interested in importing bison meat,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association. “Consumers in Mexico tend to favor cuts of meat that we can get long on here in the U.S. – some of the thin meats and variety meats. So having that outlet for bison meat is really going to help us balance the carcass utilization and bring more stability to our market.”
Carter noted that the European Union is currently the largest export market for U.S. bison meat, despite the EU’s 20% import duty. The industry is hoping to gain tariff relief through future trade agreement negotiations with the EU, and through the negotiations with the United Kingdom that began May 5. Among Asian markets, bison meat can be exported to Hong Kong and Macau but lacks access to key markets such Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.