Beef Buzz News
NCBA Focuses on More Opportunities for Trade Agreements in Beef Export MarketTue, 12 Jul 2022 10:08:56 CDT
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back with National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Senior Director for International Trade and Market Access, Kent Bacus, talking about beef export trade agreements for the U.S.
Bacus says that the latest beef export numbers released last week for May show how effective the trade agreements we have with several Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea are, and how well they have been working.
"We are very excited about the growth in Asia, but we are also seeing some strong growth here in North America too, so I think when you look at the Korean market, the Japanese market, and the Chinese market, we are going to see the continued growth very strong in all three of those markets," Bacus said.
Looking at China alone, Bacus said we are already seeing a 75 percent increase for this year. For Korea, he added, we are over a 40 percent increase, Japan is a 20 percent increase, and globally our exports are up by 34 percent over last year.
"When you look at those top three markets, those have been three of the most restrictive markets historically," Bacus said. "In Korea, we have had at least a 40 percent tariff and we were able to get rid of that by getting a free trade agreement with them. We were able to capitalize on growth in that market because we had a trade agreement before any of our major competitors did."
Because of that agreement with Korea, Bacus said they have been able to take the Australian market share completely away. When you look at Japan, Bacus said we faced very high tariffs there as well because we had a trade agreement. Because we now have a modified tariff safeguard, we are able to really continue to grow our footprint in that market.
"In China, the phase one agreement removed a lot of the non-tariff barriers that we faced," Bacus said. "Things like the hormone ban, BSE restrictions, and other things like that. Now, we are seeing record sales in that market. "
The biggest thing that Bacus said the NCBA is focusing on is implementing some of the agreements that already exist.
"We are still trying to work with China to make sure that all of the phase-one agreement is implemented," Bacus said. "We have been working with some of the other Asian countries to try to identify ways to update some of their scientific standards to make sure that they are compliant with international guidelines and recommendations."
Bacus said they are also looking at other opportunities in some key markets such as the United Kingdom.
"The Biden administration has pulled back from engaging with the UK," Bacus said. "I think a lot of that was due to personalities and just kind of the rub between the president and Prime Minister Boris Johnson."
With Johnson stepping down now, Bacus said that may create opportunities for the administration to reengage.
"There is no reason why we shouldn't have a free trade agreement with one of our strongest allies and someone with whom we have a special relationship and a strong shared history," Bacus said. "For us, we see that as a good opportunity to develop a market where you have very mature consumers who don't have a lot of access to grain-finished beef, but like a higher quality product."
Bacus said the United States has a good story to tell when it comes to the quality of our product, the production standards that we use, and the sustainability characteristics that we have.
"I think that is something that will resonate with British consumers, but first of all, we have to get in there and have these negotiations and have these conversations," Bacus said. "So that is something we are going to continue to support is that continued engagement with the UK."
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Kent Bacus talk about beef export trade agreements for the U.S.
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