Secretary Naig and Industry Representatives Comment on Today’sTrade Announcements

Written by Theresa Rose on May 17, 2019


DES MOINES, Iowa (May 17, 2019) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association issued the following statements in response to today’s trade developments.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico agreed to remove tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and Japan will fully lift its restrictions on American beef imports. This allows U.S. beef products from all cattle – regardless of age – to enter Japan for the first time since 2003, according to the USDA.

“I’m encouraged by the trade news coming out of Washington today. With the steel tariffs lifted, this is the time for Congress to approve the USMCA. The passage will protect our relationships with two of our biggest ag trading partners, Canada and Mexico,” said Secretary Naig. “Japan is also a valuable trading partner for Iowa livestock producers, and now they will have the opportunity to sell beef products without restrictions.”

“International trade is one of our top priorities, says Matt Deppe, CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “Removing non-tariff trade barriers, such as the age restrictions on products from U.S. cattle that were previously in place, is important to increase the export value of Iowa’s beef products. Iowa cattlemen are also eager to see USMCA ratified, and encourage the administration to work on a bi-lateral trade agreement with Japan that will further benefit Iowa cattle producers by reducing the tariff advantage Australia currently enjoys.”

“The Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Beef Checkoff Program in Iowa, is dedicated to expanding consumer demand for beef,” said Chris Freland, Executive Director of Iowa Beef Industry Council. “We invest checkoff dollars to strengthen beef’s position in the global marketplace which, in turn, improves our producers’ profitability. Today’s news is very welcome for our farmers.”