After years of fostering international trade relationships, U.S. pork producers are applauding actions taken on Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives when it passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
"Our industry has worked many years in developing valuable international trading relationships that have fueled Iowa's rural economy and helped offset the U.S. trade deficit,” says Iowa Pork Producers Association President Trent Thiele of Elma, Iowa. “It is important to me and Iowa's other pig farmers that we return to those good working relationships we have had with Mexico and Canada."
Since trade agreements were first initiated between the U.S. and its North American trading partners, Canada and Mexico have evolved into two of the largest export markets for U.S. pork products. When combined, the Mexico and Canada market has consistently purchased 40% of U.S. pork exports when there was a trade agreement between the three countries.
"This agreement will protect Iowa's pork producers from being caught in the middle, as we were in 2018 and through the first half of 2019. Economic estimates have said we lost $12 per pig during that time period because of tariff issues," Thiele says.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation says USMCA will bolster the country’s position as a reliable supplier to two leading markets that currently account for about one-third of all U.S. red meat exports.
Dottie King, president-elect of the Oklahoma Pork Producers board of directors, agrees that finalizing the USMCA is a tremendous positive.
“Oklahoma’s hog farmers greatly appreciate the leadership shown by Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation in supporting USMCA and voting yes on USMCA,” King says. “Mexico represents one of the largest export markets for Oklahoma pork.”
Pork producers are encouraging the U.S. Senate to work quickly to also approve the USMCA.
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