Mexico, Canada, U.S. producer groups urge leaders to ratify USMCA

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Source: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) President David Haywood-Farmer and officer Reg Schellenberg attended the annual general assembly of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG), the Mexican cattle producers’ organization, at the beginning of May. There, they participated in the Trilateral Leaders’ meeting which also included the U.S. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) leadership. Trade was a high profile topic at the meeting with discussion focusing on the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – known in Canada as the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) – and the potential that beef trade could be drawn into further retaliation tariffs. The three leaders agreed to prepare a letter to be sent to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urging the swift ratification and implementation of the new agreement, which will update and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

There was also unilateral support at the meeting to reject policies that aim to segregate the highly integrated nature of the North American beef industry. During the CUSMA negotiations key CCA objectives including maintaining tariff free market access and ensuring Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) remained out of the agreement, were achieved largely due to the strong opposition of the NCBA to COOL.

The meeting was the first CNOG annual assembly since Mexico changed government in the July 2018 general election.  It was apparent that concern exists within CNOG that the new government is not well versed on the value of international trade. The meeting program provided an opportunity for CCA and NCBA to provide presentations to Mexican producers explaining the value of trade to each of our country’s beef producers.

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) also attended the CNOG annual assembly. CRSB’s Executive Director Monica Hadarits participated on a sustainability panel with other similar regional roundtables. The goal of the panel was to share the work of the roundtables as well as offer lessons learned to support the development of the Mexican roundtable. The panel session was attended by approximately 250 producers and was very well received.

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