Trade To Mexico and Canada Opens: Breakthrough For U.S. Meat Industry

Container ship pulling into port ( Pixabay/MGN )

The Mexican government published its official notice removing Mexico’s retaliatory duties on U.S. pork on Monday. Meanwhile, Canada’s Department of Finance announced that Canada will immediately eliminate the 10% tariff Canada imposed on prepared beef items imported from the United States.

“Restoring duty-free access to the Mexican and Canadian markets is a tremendous breakthrough for the U.S. red meat industry,” said U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO, Dan Halstrom. 

The moves come three days after the Trump administration announced its plans on May 17 to lift the 25% tariff on steel and the 10% duty on aluminum imports imposed last year on Canada and Mexico.

"With these developments, Canadian and American businesses can now get back to what they do best: working together constructively and supporting good, well-paying, middle-class jobs on both sides of the border. The removal of tariffs and countermeasures is a true win-win for everyone involved and great news for Canadian and American workers, for our communities, and our economies," said Bill Morneau, Canada’s Minister of Finance, in a statement.

Both Canada and Mexico said the key reason they agreed to lift the tariffs was due to the U.S. ending the metals tariffs and not replacing them with a quota system or another limitation on trade.

"The Ministry of Economy was always opposed to considering a solution via quotas, recognizing the potential distortions of a managed trade and its conviction that free trade will continue to strengthen the competitiveness and prosperity of North America," Mexico said in a statement.

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) supporters are optimistic that a USMCA ratification is near.

“USMEF thanks President Trump and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer for reaching an agreement with Mexico and Canada on steel and aluminum tariffs and, in turn, Mexico and Canada’s lifting of the retaliatory duties on U.S. red meat,” Halstrom said. “This also removes a significant obstacle for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and USMEF is hopeful that all three countries will ratify USMCA as soon as possible.”

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