News Releases

Date: 10/7/2008

Title: Trade Restrictions Cost Cattlemen $11 Billion in Lost Sales

WASHINGTON – The International Trade Commission (ITC) released a report today estimating that trade restrictions resulting from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) cost the cattle industry $11 billion from 2004 to 2007. 

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has worked tirelessly to remove unwarranted restrictions and regain lost export markets since 2004, and contributed data, briefings, and testimony to the ITC for this report. 

“Opening markets and advocating for science-based standards of trade remain top priorities for NCBA,” explains Arizona cattle producer and NCBA President Andy Groseta.   “This report confirms what cattle producers have known for years.  It serves a critical purpose in helping everyone understand the size and scope of the economic losses our industry suffers as a result of unfair trade restrictions.”

Farm-gate sales of cattle and calves during the period between 2004 and 2007 were $195.5 billion, so the $11 billion in losses estimated by the ITC translates to 5.6 percent of cattle producers’ income.  The report also estimated that tariffs and tariff-rate quota (TRQ) restrictions cost the industry another $6.3 billion from 2004 to 2007. 

NCBA Chief Economist Gregg Doud praised the thoroughness of the report, saying, “This illustrates the many economic consequences resulting from global tariff and non-tariff trade barriers.  Trade restrictions continue to hurt our industry, costing cattle producers considerable amounts in lost sales.”  Doud continued, “I appreciate the foresight shown by Senator Max Baucus in commissioning this study.  The analysis helps demonstrate why opening markets is so important.”

The report noted that BSE-related trade restrictions on U.S. beef are not based in science, saying, “As of May 2007, the United States has been recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a controlled risk country with regard to BSE. However, certain countries…impose restrictions on U.S. beef that are more stringent than the OIE guidelines for a controlled risk country.”

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