In this file:
· Trump says U.S. should consider ending trade deals under which it imports cattle
· NCBA: President Donald Trump Addresses Beef Imports During NCBA White House Visit
· As Trump Eyes Foreign Cattle, Ranchers Say Real Threat Is Beef
Trump says U.S. should consider ending trade deals under which it imports cattle
'We have a lot of cattle in this country'
By Reuters, GFM Network News
via Canadian Cattlemen - May 19, 2020
Washington | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States should consider terminating trade deals under which it imports cattle, as the federal government moves to help agricultural producers hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
“I read yesterday where we take some cattle in from other countries, we have trade deals. I think you should look at terminating those deals,” Trump said at a White House event on food aid. “We have a lot of cattle in this country.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Canada exported over 722,000 head of cattle to the U.S. in 2019, up almost 15 per cent from 2018. Mexico, meanwhile, exports more than one million cows across the border each year to also become part of the U.S. beef supply.
Trump made the comments at a White House event held to discuss how the $19 billion in coronavirus relief approved by Congress to help farmers will be distributed (all figures US$).
USDA said Tuesday it will begin on May 26 accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.
“These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement.
The $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers will include $9.6 billion for the livestock industry — with $5.1 billion for cattle, $2.9 billion for dairy and $1.6 billion for hogs.
Long lines have formed in recent weeks at various food banks...
President Donald Trump Addresses Beef Imports During NCBA White House Visit
Source: National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA)
May 19, 2020
DENVER (May 19, 2020) – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO Colin Woodall issued the following statement in response to comments made by President Donald Trump’s about beef imports:
“Today’s comment by President Donald Trump demonstrates the complexity of the U.S. beef business. Live cattle imports to the United States only come from Canada and Mexico and will continue to do so under the terms of the President’s newly negotiated USMCA. America has not imported live cattle from other nations for several years. However, if President Trump is serious about reconsidering import decisions, NCBA and its members strongly request the White House to take another look at his decision to allow fresh beef imports from nations like Brazil, where there continue to be concerns with foot-and-mouth disease and USDA’s decision to reopen the American market to Brazilian beef.
“Beef trade is a complex business, and America’s cattle producers rely on safe and reliable international trading partners, both as a destination for the undervalued cuts we produce here, such as hearts, tongues, and livers, and for importation of lean trim for ground beef production to meet strong consumer demand. Approximately 12 percent of beef consumed in the U.S. is imported product, but that product must meet the U.S. standards for safety before it is allowed into our market.
“President Trump has shown his willingness to negotiate difficult trade deals and take on tough trading partners, and NCBA thanks him for the attention he has given to beef. We encourage him to re-examine the decision to reopen the market to imports from Brazil, Namibia, and any other nation where there are food safety or animal health concerns that could impact American consumers or cattle producers. A re-evaluation of those imports can accomplish his goals of protecting both American cattle producers and American consumer confidence in our own beef supply chain.”
As Trump Eyes Foreign Cattle, Ranchers Say Real Threat Is Beef
Jordan Fabian, Michael Hirtzer and Mike Dorning, Bloomberg
via Yahoo Finance - May 19, 2020
President Donald Trump raised the possibility of halting cattle imports to help an industry hit by slaughterhouse logjams. Ranchers say they’re more concerned about foreign beef than livestock.
Trump said Tuesday the U.S. should consider “terminating” trade deals that obligate the country to import cattle. He didn’t specify which trade deals he’s eying.
The largest American cattle trade group, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association or NCBA, said Brazilian beef is the real threat, rather than livestock shipments. The issue has come up after thousands of workers at U.S. meat plants fell ill with coronavirus, prompting a drop in slaughtering that left some American ranchers without a market for their animals.
“We have trade deals where we actually take in cattle and we have a lot of cattle in this country and I think you should look at the possibility of terminating those trade deals,” Trump said in a speech to announce a $19 billion coronavirus-related farm bailout.
While the U.S. does import small amounts of cattle from Mexico and Canada, each of those neighboring countries also buys hundreds of millions worth of American meat. That’s all allowed under both Nafta and the recently renegotiated USMCA trade deal.
Meanwhile, Brazilian meat producers including JBS SA not only own U.S. meat-packing plants but have said they will ramp up shipments of meat to the U.S. due to surging prices and tight supplies.
“Our concern isn’t with live cattle imports,” said Kent Bacus, senior director for international trade at the NCBA. “Our concern is how the administration has approved beef imports from countries that we don’t have trade agreements with, like Brazil.”
Bacus said less than 5% of cattle slaughtered every year are foreign born. “That is a small amount,” he said.
Australia exported a single cow to the U.S. in 2018, the last time the country imported live cattle from anywhere other than its two neighbors, according to Department of Agriculture data.
“There are some countries that are sending us cattle for many years and I think we should look at terminating,” Trump said. “We’re very self-sufficient and we’re becoming more and more self-sufficient.”
Another industry group applauded Trump’s statement while calling for details.
“We’re keenly interested in knowing exactly what it means,” Bill Bullard, chief executive officer of Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, which represents independent cattle producers, said by telephone.
Bullard said he was concerned because Trump had qualified his comments, suggesting he would allow continued imports from allies...