For thousands of producers attending the Cattle Industry Annual Convention in New Orleans, the record pace of U.S. beef exports was a major topic of discussion and great source of industry optimism.
At the Cattlemen's College segment of the convention, U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom and Kent Bacus, director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, led a breakout session titled, International Beef Trade - What Next?
Click the audio report above to hear Halstrom explain that when year-end 2018 data is available, U.S. beef exports will top $8 billion for the first time.
But he cautioned that in order to maintain this strong momentum, a trade agreement with Japan is needed that will eliminate the widening tariff rate gap between Japan's imports of U.S. beef and its imports from Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
Halstrom adds that ratification of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is also essential so that U.S. beef can continue to enter Mexico and Canada duty-free.