In this file:


·         Still Pushing and Hoping for a Vote on USMCA

·         USMCA would ensure pork supply 52 weeks a year every year



Still Pushing and Hoping for a Vote on USMCA


By Andy Eubank, Hoosier Ag Today

Nov 3, 2019


Last week was a busy one for Congress. They were busy with impeachment, but was there any activity on matters like passing the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did comment on USMCA, saying lawmakers were “reasonably close” to reaching an agreement with the Administration.


And some who want to see USMCA ratified were optimistic. Lesly McNitt, Director of Public Policy for National Corn Growers Association feels there is definite movement behind the scenes.


“I’ve been up on the Hill a lot talking to a lot of really exciting new members of Congress, freshmen on both sides of the aisle,” she said. “They’re all working really hard on bipartisan issues that are important to the American people. It’s not getting the headlines, but they’ve been talking about these things. They’ve been considering the merits of USMCA and of a lot of other issues that are important to agriculture well before impeachment was on the table, and I think this wins on the merits of the actual trade agreement itself, and hopefully yes, there is motivation to come together and deliver for the American people.”


But many in the agriculture industry still wonder if the impeachment investigation of President Trump will get in the way of passing USMCA. California Democrat Representative Jim Costa says things can and will get done “not withstanding the deep, deep partisan divides that we’re witnessing.”


Nick Giordano, Vice President and Counsel, Global Government Affairs at the National Pork Producers Council, is also somewhat optimistic all sides can reach an agreement on labor concerns around USMCA, and he says producers need the agreement in place.


“Certainly, Ambassador Lighthizer and the administration have been willing to work with House Democrats to find a solution to their concerns,” Giordano said...





USMCA would ensure pork supply 52 weeks a year every year

Mexico is the United States’ largest market volume wise for pork and lamb and No. 3 for beef.


Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)

via National Hog Farmer - Nov 04, 2019


Ongoing negotiations between the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and a Congressional working group aimed at bringing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to an approval vote in the House of Representatives is a step in the right direction, says USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom.


“We feel like progress is being made towards a vote and hopeful implementation of USMCA. Things are working fine at the moment under NAFTA, but in order to assure stability and a go-forward path where we don’t have to worry about any interruptions in the supply chain getting USMCA is definitely a priority for the beef, pork and lamb industries,” Halstrom says. “We ran many years in a row setting record after record on pork to Mexico. Unfortunately, from mid ‘18 to the middle part of 2019 we had a 20% duty and from my days when I was an exporter myself, it’s always harder to get a customer back the second time versus the first time. This is what we’re dealing with right now. It’s going to take us some time to get that lost share back, but this just highlights the importance of getting USMCA passed and implemented so that our customers know that we’ll be there 52 weeks a year every year to supply pork to them.”


With respect to beef exports, Halstrom says USMCA will complement the new U.S.-Japan trade agreement, which will soon be considered for approval by the Japanese Parliament. He notes that the mix of cuts exported to Mexico differs significantly from the products that appeal to Japanese buyers and consumers.


“We have avoided having duties implemented on beef, but still I think there was some fallout from the pork side because a lot of these buyers in Mexico handle both beef and pork and there was some concern during that year when we had the pork duties on it, that it could spill over into beef. It never did, but just once again highlights the importance of this agreement,” Halstrom says...