Beef Buzz News
NCBA's Colin Woodall Encourages Producers to Hang Tough as US-China Trade Talks Flare UpFri, 17 May 2019 12:08:26 CDT
Multiple sectors of agriculture are hurting right now because of the Trump Administration’s tariffs on China, which the President recently increased out of frustration from China dragging its feet in concluding negotiations. For the beef industry, it is a little different though. Colin Woodall, lead lobbyist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in its DC office, remarked in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Ron Hays that there is a lot of potential out there when it comes to the Chinese market for the US beef industry. He says that if we simply stay the course, he believes a deal will eventually get done - though he recognizes it may be tough to remain patient under the current economic pressure.
“I’ve spent a long time thinking about this and we have been here before on numerous occasions. I think everybody just needs to take a deep breath and think about the long term strategy because I think that’s what the President is thinking about,” Woodall said. “The President has told us from the get go - short term pain for long term gain when it comes to China. I believe this escalation in the trade war just continues to build the pressure to ultimately get us there.”
While times are tough economically right now, Woodall’s hope is that the President’s hardball tactics will eventually lead to not just China yielding to Trump’s overarching demands to reform its unfair trade practices, but thinks the beef industry may ultimately benefit, too, with China potentially removing its barriers against beef treated with hormones and beta-agonists. If this comes to pass, Woodall says US beef producers will enjoy exponentially greater access to the Chinese market, estimated at a potential value of $4 billion to the US beef industry on an annual basis.
“We think that’s worth supporting the President and just holding on a bit longer in these discussions,” he stated. “I believe we are still heading towards ultimately getting this done. It’s just as it always is with the Chinese - it’s going to take a little bit longer.”
Listen to Woodall’s full discussion with Hays regarding the progress of US-China trade talks, on today’s Beef Buzz.
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