USMEF applauds ‘important breakthroughs’ on trade

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is applauding what it calls “important breakthroughs” for U.S. red meat in Mexico, Canada and Japan.

USMEF economist Erin Borror says the removal of steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada, and the elimination of those countries’ retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, is especially important for U.S. pork. She says pork exports have been hit hard by Mexico’s 20 percent tariff.

“We’ve seen U.S. market share drop from 89 percent to 85 percent—and, of course, prices for key products like hams have been hard-hit,” Borror says.

The other big news was the elimination of Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports, including the 30-month cattle age limit. It could result in 150 to 200 million dollars in added sales, Borror says, with the biggest increases in the variety meats category.

“Products that Japan has bought in the past and we believe will buy again, including mountain chain tripe, tongues, abomasum and intestines—variety meats that are so important to the value of every head we purchase.”

Borror says beef muscle cuts that are mostly like to achieve success with Japanese buyers include short plate, chuckeye rolls, short ribs, middle meats, clods and briskets.

Japan is already the largest international market for U.S. beef, with exports last year topping two billion dollars.

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