USMCA, China trade deals good for local cattle industry

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The United States Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade deal passed in the Senate on Thursday morning.

This comes on the heels of Wednesday’s hard-fought Phase One trade agreement with China.

Here on the High Plains, both agreements mean good things for our local cattle raisers and feeders.

Josh Winegarner, the director of industry affairs at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA), said what is good for the beef industry is good for our local economy—and now the industry’s earnings potential is much greater.

He said the USMCA will provide about $2 billion worth of US beef, $1 billion from each country, and because of the Phase One trade agreement, China has said they will buy $40 billion worth of US agriculture products.

“Our portion of that is going to be significant because of we do produce so much beef in this part of the world,” Winegarner said. “So, it’s going to open up our access to the Chinese market, remove several of those non-tariff trade barriers that are preventing us from getting in and really establishing a foothold in that market where we know that they love u.S. Beef.”

Winegarner says while ag producers will benefit from these deals, the average consumer probably will not see any relief right away. He also said the indirect benefit of these trade deals can translate into about $15-20 billion worth of positive economic impact just for the Amarillo area.

Robert McKnight, Jr., president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association issued a statement today:

“We applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the landmark United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement today, and look forward to the president’s signature, finalizing U.S. ratification of the trade deal. Like the U.S.-Japan trade agreement that took effect at the beginning of the year, this is yet another historic trade agreement that will benefit American cattle producers for decades to come. Each year, billions of dollars of U.S. beef will continue to flow to Canada and Mexico thanks to the hard work of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and Trump administration, especially U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud. We sincerely appreciate their work on behalf of American agriculture.”

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