NCBA’s Kent Bacus Hopeful Biden Administration Will Pursue Deals Beneficial to US Beef ProducersFri, 15 Oct 2021 10:10:18 EDT
Earlier this week, KC Sheperd, Associate Farm Director for Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, caught up with Kent Bacus, senior director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, at the 2021 Rural Economic Outlook Conference hosted by the Ag Economics Department in the Ferguson College of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University.
As one of their keynote speakers, Bacus compared the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration from the perspective of trade. Today, he continues his conversation with Sheperd, starting by saying the Biden administration should be aggressive in seeking trade deals. He said the mindset in the U.S. is shifting from cautionary to one that wants to engage.
“That is something that we should get behind, not only for the administration but especially for Congress,” Bacus said. “Congress let the Trade Promotion Authority lapse in July. It is going to take Congress to bring that back.”
TPA provides authority to the President to enter into reciprocal trade agreements on reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers, according to the Congressional Research Service. However, Congress must introduce implementing legislation for the agreement to come into effect, according to CRS.
“We cannot expect our negotiators to go out and secure these good agreements if they do not have the support of Congress,” Bacus said. “But we had to take a step back with COVID, look at everything that happened with supply chains and find out where we are, what are our vulnerabilities and where can we improve.”
Bacus believes those post-COVID steps have been accomplished for the most part and that the next step is to reengage.
“The U.S. has to lead these negotiations – we cannot lead from the back,” Bacus said. “Our allies have to be able to trust that we are going to be able to stand with them, but also that we are going to … defend science and advocate for stronger trade policies.”
By doing all that, Bacus said that will help ensure U.S. Beef stays on top.
“I definitely think the U.S. cattle sector is in a much better position than any of our competitors,” Bacus said.
He credits this year’s record U.S. beef exports to trade agreements made during President Donald Trump’s time in office, including the Phase One trade deal with China.
“It was not the purchase order that put us over the top,” Bacus said. “It was removing the BSE ban, the hormone ban and a lot of the other non-tariff barriers that opened up a lot of that market for us.”
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from KC Sheperd and the NCBA’s Kent Bacus as they visit for the second day, talking about trade under the Biden administration, the outlook for U.S. beef exports and more. If you missed the other half of the conversation where Bacus contrasts the Biden and Trump administrations, check it out here.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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