In this file:
· Tariffs remain irritant
· Progress on USMCA deal welcomed
· NAFTA Replacement USMCA Signed at G20
Tariffs remain irritant
Prime Cuts with Steve Kay
By Steve Kay, Contributor, Canadian Cattlemen
November 30, 2018
Kay is publisher and editor of Cattle Buyers Weekly
One word — relief — summed up the completion of a new trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Agricultural leaders in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico all breathed deep sighs of relief after the three countries signed the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. That’s because the new pact leaves intact all the elements of NAFTA that made North America a fully integrated market for cattle, hogs, beef and pork.
Signed in 1994, NAFTA reshaped North American economic relations in a way that few people imagined at the time. In the past 24 years, U.S. farmers and growers have quadrupled their exports to Canada and Mexico, and the two nations rank second and third after China as the top markets for U.S. farm goods. That’s why ag leaders fought hard to convince the Trump administration to strike a new deal and not blow up NAFTA, as President Trump had threatened to do.
As you know, Canada was forced to open its dairy market to more U.S. milk, cream, and butter, while curbing subsidies for its dairy exports. The concession will grant the U.S. access to 3.6 per cent of Canada’s dairy market. This might not seem like much but any dairy concessions had been strongly opposed in parts of Canada, notably in Quebec. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted the dairy concessions were not ideal and pledged to fully compensate Canadian dairy farmers for any loss of market share related to the new pact.
The new pact, though, did not address the tariffs imposed on U.S. food products by Mexico and Canada as part of the trade war between the three countries. U.S. pork to Mexico has faced a new 20 per cent tariff for several months, while U.S. cheese faces 20 per cent to 25 per cent tariffs. On July 1 Canada imposed US$170 million of tariffs on cooked beef products. It is the U.S.’s largest market for these items so the tariffs will have an impact on some meat companies’ business. Canada’s beef tariffs were part of a package of $12.6 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of U.S. goods.
The categories of beef items subject to tariffs included beef jerky, cooked meatloaf, meatballs, beef pies, stews, ground cooked beef, snack packs with meat, and mixed meat TV-style dinners. Fresh and frozen unprocessed beef-cuts and offal were not affected. Certain processed products like beef sausages, corned beef or beef liver products were also not covered.
Fortunately for the U.S. beef industry, exports have boomed so far this year...
Progress on USMCA deal welcomed
By Aidan Fortune, GlobalMeatNews
Leaders of the nations involved in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) have taken a significant step forward by signing the deal to open up trade between the three countries.
Set to replace the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which US President Trump was not in favour of, the USMCA deal involves over US$1tn of trade, including meat and poultry products. The deal has to be ratified before it can take effect.
Speaking following the signing of the USMCA deal, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said: “The new USMCA makes important specific changes that are beneficial to our agricultural producers. We have secured greater access to the Mexican and Canadian markets and lowered barriers for many of our products. The deal eliminates Canada’s unfair Class 6 and Class 7 milk pricing schemes, opens additional access to US dairy into Canada, and imposes new disciplines on Canada’s supply management system. The agreement also preserves and expands critical access for US poultry and egg producers and addresses Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading process to help US wheat growers along the border become more competitive.
“This is good news for American farmers and we now need Congress to follow suit and enact the necessary implementing legislation. I commend President Trump and our US Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer, for their perseverance, leadership and hard work.”
The deal has been welcomed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Kevin Kester.
“With the signing of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, US beef producers are one step closer to knowing that unrestricted, science-based trade will continue in North America,” he said. “The agreement brings the trading relationship with our neighbours into the 21st century – and clearly rejects the failed beef and cattle trade policies of the past. Open markets have helped US producers flourish and created billion-dollar markets for US beef. We look forward to working with Congress to get USMCA passed into law as quickly as possible.”
Not everyone is as impressed by the deal however. The National Farmers Union (NFU) said...
NAFTA Replacement USMCA Signed at G20
By Eric Pfeiffer, Hoosier Ag Today
Dec 2, 2018
After an announcement on Thursday that an agreement in principle has been reached on the 2018 farm bill, another political sticking point for farmers took a step forward on Friday. President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) at the G20 Summit in Argentina.
“In the United States the new trade pact will support high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for American exports across the range of sectors including our farming, manufacturing, and service industries,” Trump said. “As part of our agreement the United States will be able to lock in our market access to Canada and Mexico and greatly expand our agricultural exports, something we’ve been wanting to do for many years.”