Mexico, Canada, U.S. producer groups urge leaders to leave NAFTA beef terms of trade alone

Calgary, AB – Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) President Dan Darling and fellow beef producer group leaders in Mexico and the United States issued a joint letter to the elected political leadership of their respective countries today to clarify their shared view that the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) affecting beef producers are strongly supported as they currently exist and should not be altered.

The letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, U.S. President Donald Trump, and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico was signed by Darling, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Craig Uden, and Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas President Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo.

The three beef cattle producer associations are united in their support that the terms of trade remain unchanged in the anticipated NAFTA renegotiations. The unlimited duty free beef trade that NAFTA enables between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico reflects the true integrated nature of the North American beef cattle industry. The U.S. is Canada’s top export market, accounting for 70 per cent of Canadian beef exports and nearly all our live cattle exports. In 2016, Canada exported 270,000 tonnes of beef and 764,000 head of live cattle to the U.S. valued at more than $3 billion ($1.7 billion as beef and $1.4 billion live cattle). A further 16,000 tonnes of Canadian beef went to Mexico for $109 million, making Mexico Canada’s fourth largest beef export market.

On the import side, Canadians purchased $978 million of U.S. beef and $19 million of Mexican beef in 2016.

“We believe that our economies will be stronger under NAFTA than without NAFTA. We urge you not to jeopardize the success of the men, women and families engaged in the cattle and beef industries of each of our countries, who depend on the success that market access provides under NAFTA,” the joint letter states.

The letter also encourages political leadership to reject efforts to use NAFTA as a platform to resurrect failed policies of the past, especially the misguided mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) policy.

To see the trilateral letter in full, click here.

For further information, contact:
Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306 | teelg@cattle.ca