International Trade


With more overall meat on the market than we have had in years, expanding our market share in international markets is critical to future success of our industry.

  • Expansion - We will continue to focus on expanding market access in the Pacific rim, where there is a growing middle class and an increasing demand for high-quality protein.
  • NCBA will fight to protect our access under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which directly created two $1 billion export markets for U.S. beef.
  • Enforcement - NCBA will work with the U.S. government to enforce trade agreements and end the mistreatment of U.S. beef by the E.U. NCBA will also work to end non-science based restrictions on U.S. beef in China, Russia, and other countries which place politics over science.


Trade is Vital to the Future of the U.S. Beef Industry

  • Cattlemen support open markets, level playing fields and science-based standards in international trade. Every effort should be made to develop an integrated domestic-foreign trade policy which encourages reciprocity, elimination of unfair trade restrictions and movement toward private enterprise and free markets.
  • Cattlemen support expanding export opportunities for U.S. beef. Free trade agreements offer great potential to increase market share in key markets for U.S. beef in Asia and South America. Approximately 12 million American jobs depend on exports.


Top 5 Export Markets in 2016 for U.S. Beef

  • Japan $1.5 billion
  • Korea $1.06 billion
  • Mexico $975 million
  • Canada $758 million
  • Hong Kong $684 million

*World Total — $6.34 Billion
*Source: USMEF




Important Trade Deals

  • North American Free Trade Agreement - NAFTA has been one of the greatest success stories in the history of the American beef industry by removing tariffs on U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico and developing roughly $2 billion in annual sales. In fact, since NAFTA was implemented in 1993, U.S. beef exports to Mexico have increased more than 750 percent. Any potential renegotiation of NAFTA must protect the market access and scientific standards that NAFTA has provided for the U.S. beef industry for the past 24 years.
  • Prioritize Bi-Lateral Trade with Japan - NCBA supports the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). In 2016, Europe purchased $245 million of U.S. beef even with many non-tariff trade barriers in place. Europe places many non-science based restrictions on U.S. beef that must be addressed in T-TIP. NCBA believes that all food production and safety standards must be based on sound science and timely risk assessments.

Asia: A Growing Market for U.S. Beef

  • China - In May, the U.S. and China reached an agreement to allow U.S. beef back into China by no later than July 16, 2017. Having been locked out of the Chinese market for 13 years, this is welcomed news for U.S. beef producers. China is home to one-fifth of the world population, with a growing middle-class that is larger than the entire U.S. population. These middle-class consumers are buying record amounts of protein and China is becoming one of the greatest importers of beef in the world.
  • Japan - In 2016, Japan was the largest export market for U.S. beef totaling $1.5 billion. Unfortunately, since the U.S. pulled out of TPP, the current 38.5% tariff on American beef will remain unchanged, instead of being phased down and giving us equal treatment as our competitors from Australia. NCBA supports a swift bilateral trade agreement with Japan that will provide these benefits to American beef producers.
  • South Korea - The Korea-United States Trade Agreement, implemented in 2012, has been a resounding success for American producers. Sales of U.S. beef to South Korea have skyrocketed from $582 million to $1.06 billion in 2016 — a whopping jump of 82 percent!
  • Taiwan - In 2014, Taiwan consumed $294 million worth of U.S. beef. Unfortunately Taiwan still places an age-based restriction of 30 months on its beef imports despite the U.S. having negligible risk status designation from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

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