Tick tock—patience also required for US beef trade


By Kylene Scott, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal

Jan 2, 2018


Kent Bacus, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s director of international trade and market access, is optimistic about the potential of beef exports to Asian markets. Bacus gave a beef trade update at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show, Dec. 6 in Kearney, Nebraska.


It’s been a busy year in Washington, Bacus said, and a year has made a difference.


“When it comes to trade it’s a little more uncertain,” Bacus said.


He thinks it’s important to look at what the Trump administration has targeted for 2017, and within the first few days of taking office President Donald Trump made good many of his campaign promises.


“One of those was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he said. “As you all know this is a trade agreement that we all strongly supported and strongly advocated for because of the benefits it would hold for us.”


The tariff rate for Japan and the access it would have given to the Asian market was affected, as was the leverage this country would have had over all the other Asian countries who were looking to join TPP. Both sides of the aisle wanted this, Bacus said.


“Unfortunately we’re still going to have to deal with the ramifications of this,” he said. “But in exchange for the TPP we’ve been promised the administration’s going to engage in bi-lateral trade agreements.”


NCBA and other livestock groups petitioned the White House right away to prioritize a bi-lateral trade agreement with Japan.


“If we have a promise that we’re supposed to get a better deal then we want to see it going now,” Bacus said. “Unfortunately we’re about a year since the withdrawal from TPP and we still have yet to see meaningful engagement from or advancement in that bi-lateral talk.”


Japan is not interested in a bi-lateral agreement...


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