2021 was a record-shattering year for red meat export value, with U.S. beef exports topping $10 billion and U.S. pork exports reaching the $8 billion milestone for the first time. While many factors contributed to this unprecedented level of demand, market access gains achieved through trade agreements were a major driver – as summarized in these brief videos.
For U.S. beef, the greatly reduced tariff rates achieved in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) helped boost exports to new heights, the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement cleared the way for a sharp increase in beef shipments to China and the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement restored a level tariff playing field for U.S. beef. In the Western Hemisphere, duty-free access helped drive a surge in beef exports to FTA partners such as Central America, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
U.S. pork exports to Mexico were record-large in 2021, capitalizing on duty-free access achieved through NAFTA and solidified by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Pork export value to Canada also set a new record, benefiting greatly from these agreements. Pork shipments soared to Central America and the Dominican Republic and rebounded impressively in Colombia, even with pork cuts commanding higher prices. Zero-duty access under KORUS helped the United States become the largest supplier of chilled pork to Korea and, similar to beef, the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement bolstered U.S. pork’s position in the highly competitive Japanese market.
A full summary of 2021 red meat export results is also available online.