Both bodies were supportive of the agreement and believed it was “essential” to the long-term viability of the US meat and poultry industry.
During the hearing, NAMI senior vice-president of international affairs Bill Westman offered examples of market integration in the US meat, cattle and leather industries. Westman explained the US’ north-west region exports 16-20 million pounds of beef and beef by-products annually to Canada and Mexico, with an estimated trade value of more than US$30 million.
He added that these figures would be jeopardised without the USMCA implementation.
“The integration of the North American meat and livestock sectors is essential to the long-term viability of the US meat and poultry industry,” said Westman. “Maintaining this integrated market has a direct impact on the millions of people employed directly and indirectly by our industry.”
The US meat industry has endured a turbulent year with the likes of Mexico and Canada, after they both imposed retaliatory tariffs on products.
The National Pork Producers Council said exports of US pork and other American agricultural goods to Canada and Mexico were expected to grow under the new agreement.
“The USMCA will maintain and strengthen our strong economic ties with our North American neighbours,” said NPPC director of international trade Maria Zieba. “Preserving the North American market is particularly vital to US pork producers, who have been suffering the consequences of retaliatory tariffs.”
Although negotiations have been concluded between the markets, it is still not clear when the agreement will come into force.