I-BAND members disagree with USMCA trade agreement


by: Malik Wilson, KXNET (ND)

Jan 9, 2020


The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota is facing adversity as the U.S. Senate is nearing its final trade agreement.


The United States, Mexico and Canada are set to vote on a the USMCA trade agreement.


This evening in Rugby, members of the Independent Beef Association made it their issue to tell farmers the agreement wouldn’t be in their favor.


They said parts of this agreement would affect the pricing of cattle, decreasing its value due to bordering states having free access to send processed meat as opposed to real meat.


“We’re falling on the short side of exporting, and it really isn’t helping the beef producer at all. It’s the same deal that we had before. The border is wide open and there’s no safe cards,” said Dwight Keller, President of Independent Beef Association of North Dakota.


A part of this issue is due to labeling. In 2014 and 2015, when labeling was required, the price of cattle skyrocketed.


But due to the trade agreement set in place now, consumers from other countries can’t tell what beef is coming from America or other countries.


Past I-BAND President, Kenny Graner said if farmers could all pitch into the Beef Integrity Act, which would force valid labeling, then the issues they’re having now could be fixed...


more, including video report [1:47 min.]