Colorado Livestock Association panel talks trade, Trump and Congress
April 6, 2017
LOVELAND — New trade opportunities under the Trump administration continue to worry members of the Colorado Livestock Association.
At the annual meeting for the Colorado Livestock Association on Thursday at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 4705 Clydesdale Parkway, Loveland, panelists from beef, dairy and pork groups discussed efforts and wants from President Donald Trump and from Congress.
One campaign promise the panelists continued to refer to Trump's promise to open up trade opportunities. One large campaign promise was dropping out to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump did. Thad Lively, senior vice president for trade access for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, was the moderator for the event and pointed out there are many producers who feel Trump hasn't done enough to help the agriculture community.
The TPP was one example that Colin Woodall, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, mentioned. For the beef industry, the TPP would have been a big win, Woodall said, as it would have helped with exports to China by leveling the tariff playing field with Australia — the tariff between the U.S. and Japan is almost 40 percent. So it is cheaper for Japan to buy beef from Australia because of lower interest rates.
"Nothing in the beef industry is really going to change for us," Woodall admitted, but he added the focus is now on making unilateral agreements with individual countries the U.S. doesn't have a deal with.
Woodall also said he hoped this weekend's meeting with China's president, Xi Jinping, will help promote beef in the county. In September 2016, China lifted the ban of U.S. beef imports — imposed when bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease, affected cattle herds — but there still isn't any beef from the U.S. going to China.
"Those concerns are passed, and the way the Chinese have treated us, as a political football, is less about beef," Woodall said.
— Samantha Fox is an agriculture reporter for The Greeley Tribune and The Fence Post. She can be reached at email@example.com, (970) 392-4410 or on Twisster @FoxonaFarm.