Ag News

President Trump Suggests Terminating Live Cattle Imports, Canada Responds

IARN — President Donald Trump suggested “terminating” current trade deals allowing live cattle imports.

Our northern ally took notice, but does not seem too concerned.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data indicates Canada exported 700,000 head of cattle to the United States in 2019. Cattle imports look to continue under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which goes into effect on July 1, 2020. Dennis Laycraft, executive vice president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, says the President’s remarks “caught our attention.”

“We followed up with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The feeling, coming out of that, was the part attracting that comment is there have been some imports, one load came in from Africa. They are getting ready to approve products coming in from Brazil, and I think that’s where the comment was directed. It just threw in ‘live cattle.’” Laycraft said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also delivered a message to cattlemen/women. He spoke to eligibility for the Canada Emergency Business Account, or CERB program.

Canadian government officials rolled out 252-million-dollars, specifically for agriculture. Roughly half appropriated funds will go to the red meat sector. Prime Minister Trudeau says this is an “initial investment.”

“To help cattle and hog producers, we will launch a 125-million-dollar national agri-recovery initiative, so that they can adapt to this crisis. This is an initial investment. If we need to add more, we will,” Trudeau said.

Laycraft says, “Funding is helpful.” His organization, however, believes more can be done.

“We believe there are other important investments that could be made that would help Canadian agriculture get through this. We’ll feel pretty optimistic about growth opportunities, if we’re able to give producers the tools they need to manage through this,” Laycraft said.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

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