Beef Buzz News
NCBA's Kent Bacus Says House Passage of USMCA Shows the US is Open for BusinessFri, 20 Dec 2019 10:23:26 CST
Thursday was a great day for the beef industry, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Director of International Trade and Market Access, Kent Bacus is excited about the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passing the ratification of the US Mexico, Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Bacus says this is a win for all of agriculture, "This is a great day for us. This is a great day for NCBA, a great day for the US beef industry, a great day for America. I think you're seeing a lot of positive statements come from the House of Representatives from both Republicans and Democrats because this is an agreement that everyone can get behind. This brings NAFTA, into the 21st century, it really strengthens our trade relationships with Canada and Mexico, while protecting a lot of those market access terms that have given us an advantage in Canada Mexico as US beef producers for over 20 years. So this is a good day for us. We get to see the continuation of strong sales into Canada and Mexico. We have that unrestricted duty free access that's made American beef, the preeminent beef in North America. We're going to continue to see growth in those markets for years to come. So this is a really good day for us."
Bacus says it's a real credit to Robert Lighthizer trade ambassador for the Trump administration, to keep those lines of communication open with the House Democrats for months. And he says along those lines, groups like NCBA needed to stay the course as well, "NCBA has been in the room for this agreement, the entire time. For all the discussions, the hearings. All have meetings with staff on Capitol Hill to help them understand how important this is for us. This is a culmination of months and a couple of years of work to really emphasize how important trade with our North American partners is for the US beef industry. So, NCBA participated in numerous hearings, we've had so many meetings on Capitol Hill, but really it was an educational push. It was a combination of NCBA and our state affiliates, that really is the strength of our organization. As the trusted leader and the definitive voice of the US beef industry, NCBA is the one that's able to bring everyone together and speak on behalf of our industry. So this is just another example of a big victory for our industry, and NCBA was part of all those important conversations that helped make this possible., so this is something we can all be proud of."
With a House vote complete, this a significant victory for President Trump. Next up, consideration in the US Senate in 2020. Bacus says to expect this early in the year, "We expect the Senate will take this up and sometime in January. I think the senate finance committee will need to get its hands on it, and have a hearing, and be able to talk about it. But the Senate never moves at lightning speed anyway. It's designed to move a little slowly. So I anticipate that we will see this before the State of the Union address at the end of the month. Hopefully, it won't take that long, but given the realities of the Senate, and the reality some impeachment of the things that are, that can create a log jam, that is possible. So it's important that everyone engage with their senators. Everyone's going to be home for Christmas, for New Years, and they're going to have a chance to engage with them. Now is the time to really lean on them and say, how important the USMCA is for your operation, for your family. This agreement is not just about the next quarter, about the next year. This is setting the groundwork for future generations. This is going to allow us to remain competitive and to really have an advantage over so many other people who want to sell a competitive product in both Canada and Mexico. So, this is very important. I think timing, we have this quickly because you know; unfortunately, we're fast approaching the full swing of the election year. Democrats have a lot of candidates that are running for office. We're going to start to see primaries, and towards February, so we have to move on this quickly. Hopefully, we'll see this successfully move forward by the end of January."
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Kent Bacus as he talks with Ron Hays.
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