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The impact of elections on global trade

It’s a big year for elections around the globe and a trade expert with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it could have significant implications on trade relationships with the U.S.  Kent Bacus tells Brownfield while Mexico’s recent election was historic, but “I don’t have a lot of hope for things turning around in the short run.”

He says the beef cattle industry is in a good position for continued business with Mexico, but there are broader economic pressures. Bacus says the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will meet next year to reevaluate the trade agreement between the three countries. “I’m hopeful that cooler heads prevail and that we’re able to build on the good foundation we have with the USMCA,” he says.  “I hope we can avoid a lot of these self-inflicted wounds and pitfalls that the Mexican government policies have perpetrated.”

He says he’s also watching the July 4th election in the United Kingdom. “Regardless of political positions, they’re going to need to seek out trade agreements,” he says. “They’re going to need to secure stronger economic ties at NCBA we’ve really tried to build a lot of relationships with Conservative party members with Labour Party members. We think there’s great opportunities there.”

And then there’s the U.S. Presidential elections in November – and he says both presumptive candidates have been talking a lot about tariffs. “We have to be very, very careful about the long-term effects of that,” he says. “Agriculture is the immediate target for retaliation. We saw a lot of commodities targeted on the steel and aluminum tariffs on the Boeing Airbus battle.”

Bacus says the goal should be to make trade as boring and predictable as possible. “Because that is where commerce flourishes,” he says. “That allows us, as beef producers, cattle producers, to plan and to invest and to develop a strong trust with consumers in other countries.”

He says the fundamentals of trade that work for agriculture including opening and developing markets and removing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers.

Brownfield interviewed Bacus during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Associations recent Young Cattlemen’s Conference.

AUDIO: Kent Bacus, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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