DENVER (May 19, 2020) – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO Colin Woodall issued the following statement in response to comments made by President Donald Trump about beef imports:
“Today’s comment by President Donald Trump demonstrates the complexities of the U.S. beef business. Live cattle imports to the United States only come from Canada and Mexico and will continue to do so under the terms of the President’s newly negotiated USMCA. America has not imported live cattle from other nations for several years. However, if President Trump is serious about reconsidering import decisions, NCBA and its members strongly request the White House to take another look at his decision to allow fresh beef imports from nations like Brazil, where there continue to be concerns with foot-and-mouth disease and USDA’s decision to reopen the American market to Brazilian beef.
“Beef trade is a complex business, and America’s cattle producers rely on safe and reliable international trading partners, both as a destination for the undervalued cuts we produce here, such as hearts, tongues and livers and for importation of lean trim for ground beef production to meet strong consumer demand. Approximately 12% of beef consumed in the U.S. is imported product, but that product must meet the U.S. standards for safety before it is allowed into our market.
“President Trump has shown his willingness to negotiate difficult trade deals and take on tough trading partners, and NCBA thanks him for the attention he has given to beef. We encourage him to re-examine the decision to reopen the market to imprts from Brazil, Namibia and any other nation where there are food safety or animal health concerns that could impact American consumers or cattle producers. A re-evaluation of those imports can accomplish his goals of protecting both American cattle producers and American consumer confidence in our own beef supply chain.”