The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is voicing its support for the Trump Administration’s efforts to reach an agreement with Canada and Mexico to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), renamed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. According to the organization, the agreement represents a positive step in preserving duty-free access to two of the U.S. meat and poultry industry’s most critical foreign markets.
“Under NAFTA, U.S. meat and poultry exports to Mexico and Canada have thrived as import duties were removed and non-scientific barriers to trade have been significantly reduced,” said NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “The North American market for the meat and poultry industry is nearly completely integrated and is essential to its long-term viability. The agreement submitted today (Oct. 1) to Congress safeguards the core tenets of NAFTA that have strengthened the U.S. meat sector and overall economy.”
Mexico and Canada are top-four destinations for U.S. beef and pork. Since its entry into force in 1994, U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $656 million to more than $1.7 billion in 2017, while pork exports increased in value from $322 million to more than $2.3 billion during that same time period. In terms of volume, Canada and Mexico imported nearly 30 percent of total U.S. beef exports and 40 percent of all U.S. pork exports in 2017—figures that would have been unattainable without NAFTA.
“We urge Congress to ratify expeditiously the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and we look forward to working with both Administration officials and members of Congress to ensure its implementation,” NAMI concluded.