Today, Mexico approved U.S. changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, paving the way for a congressional ratification. The Trump administration worked closely with Congressional Democrats to address their concerns in the revisions to the agreement.
The National Pork Producers Council applauds the administration, Congress and the governments of Canada and Mexico for working hard to fine-tune the trade deal so that Congress can vote this year.
"Mexico's approval of USMCA changes proposed by the United States is welcome news for U.S. pork producers and all of American agriculture," says NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. "Members of Congress can count on hearing, yet again, from pork producers as NPPC is unleashing a grassroots call to action. We want a vote this year and NPPC will score this critically important trade agreement as a key vote."
Last year, Canada and Mexico took over 40% of the pork that was exported from the United States and a similar percentage is expected this year. U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico support 16,000 U.S. jobs. Last year, U.S. pork exports to Mexico totaled $1.3 billion and exports to Canada totaled $765 million.
The North American Meat Institute also calls on Congress to swiftly approve the USMCA, citing the agreement as preserving duty-free access to two of the U.S. meat and poultry industry's most critical foreign markets.
"We are pleased with the agreement reached between the Trump administration and House leadership allowing Congress to consider USMCA before the holidays," says Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. "The U.S. meat and poultry industry exports $5.5 billion annually in products to Canada and Mexico. Swift adoption of this agreement is critical to meat and poultry processors and the millions of U.S. farmers, ranchers, allied manufacturers and transportation companies in the food supply chain."
Under the previous agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. meat and poultry exports to Mexico and Canada thrived as import duties were removed and non-scientific barriers to trade were significantly reduced. The North American market for the meat and poultry industry is nearly completely integrated, and this integration is essential to its long-term viability.
"We look forward to working with the administration and our counterparts in Canada and Mexico to support trade that is fair and upholds international standards to ensure USMCA implementation successfully achieves its intended purpose of improving North American trade through expanded market access with fewer barriers," Potts adds.
Mexico and Canada are among the top four destinations for U.S. pork and beef. Since NAFTA's entry into force in 1994, U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $656 million to more than $1.7 billion in 2017, while pork exports increased in value from $322 million to more than $2.3 billion during that same time period.
In terms of volume, Canada and Mexico imported 40% of all U.S. pork exports and nearly 30% of total U.S. beef exports in 2017.