Last Friday, President Barack Obama signed the three agreements and the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance program. National Cattle Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald says the long-awaited implementation of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea is a step in the right direction.
Donald: This is a great day for cattlemen all across the U.S. with President Obama signing these long-awaited trade agreements. They’ve been negotiated for over five years and we were impressed that the Congress acted in such a bipartisan, rapid fashion to get them passed and we were asking the president to sign them so that’s good news for America’s cattlemen.
Donald talks about what happens when the tariffs go away.
Donald: Currently the value of U.S. cattle exports is over $200/animal, and we are doing that while we have a 40% tariff on countries like South Korea and 80% from Colombia. Both tariffs are going to go away under these free trade agreements and what this means is that the consumers in those countries are going to be able to enjoy U.S. beef at a lot lower cost. That’s going to increase demand. That’s going to put more dollars in the pockets of U.S. cattlemen. So it’s a win-win. It’s a win for the consumers in those countries and it’s a win for the cattlemen in the U.S.