In this file:
· Groups react to Trump’s suggestion that cattle imports be ‘terminated’
· Ranch Group Provides President Trump with Additional Justification for Halting Cattle Imports
· Trump’s suggestion to halt live cattle imports rejected by US beef producers
Groups react to Trump’s suggestion that cattle imports be ‘terminated’
By Ken Anderson, Brownfield
May 20, 2020
President Trump, during yesterday’s event announcing the coronavirus relief program, turned to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and made an off-the-cuff comment on imports of cattle from other countries.
“I read yesterday where we take some cattle in from other countries because we have trade deals,” Trump said. “I think you should look at terminating those deals, alright? 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 at the possibility of terminating those trade deals.”
Trump did not specify which nations he was referring to.
Cattle groups were quick to respond to Trump’s comments.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association pointed out that live cattle imports only come from Canada and Mexico and will continue to do so under terms of the newly negotiated USMCA trade deal. NCBA said it would support a review of the administration’s decision to allow fresh beef imports from nation’s like Brazil, where there continue to be concerns with foot-and-mouth disease.
The United States Cattlemen’s Association said it agrees with Trump “on the need to stem the influx of imported cattle into this country”.
The Organization for Competitive Markets applauded Trump’s suggestion on cattle imports and said it should be extended to imported beef as well.
R-CALF USA commended...
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Ranch Group Provides President Trump with Additional Justification for Halting Cattle Imports
Oklahoma Farm Report
20 May 2020
Last night R-CALF USA sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump commending his suggestion that the United States should consider halting imports of cattle from countries that have not treated American ranchers fairly.
The letter offers additional justification for Trump's suggestion, stating that U.S. cattle ranchers have been particularly harmed by the influx of cheaper live cattle imports that produce undifferentiated beef, which effectively displaces American ranchers' access to their own domestic market.
R-CALF USA stated that during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, importers have been displacing American ranchers' access to their own market with tens of thousands of imported live cattle each week. The group stated this was unconscionable given that American ranchers have cattle to sell but because of the crisis, they have no market to sell into.
The group wrote that for many years live cattle imports have undercut domestic cattle prices, thus depriving American cattle ranchers the opportunity to earn a competitive income from the marketplace.
To substantiate this claim, the group pointed to testimony by both the meatpackers and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) before the U.S. International Trade Commission disclosing that 282K cattle are imported into the Northwest each year for the purpose of helping their feedlots and packing facilities run at optimal levels.
But R-CALF USA states that the data show that these 282K live cattle imports each year has resulted in a 34% decline in the number of Northwest cattle ranchers and a decline of 12% of the beef cows in that region...
Trump’s suggestion to halt live cattle imports rejected by US beef producers
Beef Central (AU)
May 21, 2020
A suggestion made this week by US president Donald Trump that his country should consider banning live cattle imports surprised many across the US beef industry, and has been dismissed by the National Cattlemens Beef Association.
The president’s comment came in the wake of widespread US meat processing plant closures due to COVID-19 over the past month, causing a dramatic buildup of grainfed cattle ready for slaughter. Thousands of workers at US meat plants have fallen ill with coronavirus, prompting a drop in slaughtering that left some American ranchers without a market for their animals.
Slaughter capacity in the US has been reduced by 35-40pc in recent weeks, causing a log-jam of around 1.5 million cattle by mid-year, and a dramatic decline in livestock value as a result.
President Trump on Tuesday said the US should consider ‘terminating’ trade deals that obligate the country to import live cattle. He made the comments while announcing a $19 billion coronavirus-related US farm bailout.
“There are some countries that are sending us cattle for many years and I think we should look at terminating,” he said. “We’re very self-sufficient (in beef) and we’re becoming more and more self-sufficient,” he said.
The US imports about two million feeder cattle and slaughter cattle from neighbouring both Canada and Mexico each year, but in turn sells them hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of grainfed meat. It is estimated that less than five percent of cattle slaughtered in the US each year are born in either Canada or Mexico, which trade with the US under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the recently-renegotiated US/Mexico free trade deal.
“It was something I wish the president hadn’t said,” said the president of the US National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Marty Smith, who attended the announcement. He said the suggestion may have resulted from a misunderstanding.
The NCBA yesterday issued a statement in response to President Trump’s comments
“Today’s comment by President Trump demonstrates the complexity of the US beef business,” NCBA chief executive Colin Woodall said.
Live cattle imports to the US 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,” he said.
“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 & Mouth Disease and USDA’s decision to reopen the American market to Brazilian beef,” Mr Woodall said.
“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.”
Australia is the largest exporter of lean trimmings and manufacturing beef to the US, last year totalling close to 252,000t.
About 12 percent of all beef consumed in the US is imported product, but that product must meet the US standards for safety before it is allowed into the market, Mr Woodall said.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Another US beef industry lobby group applauded president Trump’s suggestion.
“We’re keenly interested in knowing exactly what it means,” said Bill Bullard, chief executive officer of Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America.
Mr Bullard said he was concerned because the president had qualified his comments, suggesting he would allow continued imports from ‘allies’.
“Those imports do displace domestically produced US cattle and have become an even greater problem as slaughterhouses close or reduce production because of coronavirus outbreaks among employees,” he said.
The group said the USMCA failed to properly protect American ranchers.
Meat packers in the US northwest relied on imports of Canadian cattle to maintain their efficiency and feedlot utilisation rates, said Brian Perillat, from the market analysis division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association...