The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is preparing for a new round of Asia-Pacific trade talks under a plan known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. The U.S. Meat Export Federation recently submitted comments on the IPEF, focusing on priorities for U.S. red meat access including promotion of science-based trade rules, promoting a systems-based approach to U.S. establishment approvals, eliminating burdensome registration requirements and advancement of regionalization agreements related to foreign animal diseases.
While there's not a lot of clear details about what the economic framework will entail, USMEF Assistant Vice President of Export Services Travis Arp says its an opportunity to work with countries across the Asia Pacific region to address various issues related to market access and barriers to trade and help open these markets to U.S. exporters.
"Looking at issues like science based trade, good regulatory practices and transparency with regulations and things that can really open more opportunities for U.S. exporters in a multiple group of sectors," Arp says.
Even though barriers related to tariffs, quotas and import licenses are not in the IPEF as currently proposed, USMEF still highlighted these issues in the comments. These barriers place U.S. red meat products at a significant disadvantage in several key markets in the Indo-Pacific region, especially where competitors have regional or bilateral trade agreements in place.
"We focused our comments on kind of the main themes of science-based trade, promoting systems-based approvals for U.S. export establishments, establishing regionalization agreements related to foreign animal disease, and also promoting the idea that USTR should consider addressing tariffs, quotas, import licensing schemes within these countries," Arp says.
The region is one of the most important for U.S. red meat exports. In addition to well-established markets such as Japan and South Korea, several countries in Southeast Asia hold excellent growth potential for U.S. pork, beef and lamb.
"Absolutely if there's an opportunity to address some of these systemic barriers to trade," Arp says. "So for example, gaining more beef access into markets, like Korea and creating more opportunities for plants to get approved in markets like Malaysia and Indonesia, then this could potentially pose a significant boost to red meat exports in the future, providing that those issues can get addressed within the framework."
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.