Farm Bill, Trade Advancements Necessary for Meat Exports

U.S. Meat Export Federation officials review status of exports at annual planning meeting this week

Published on: Nov 6, 2013

"Both of these initiatives portend strong sales, strong opportunities for us going forward," Seng said.

He noted that the addition of Japan to TPP talks presents a "tremendous opportunity" for U.S. meat products. Currently, the U.S. holds a 27% share in Japanese pork market.

As for the TTIP, Seng said "it's been a rougher road," but he suggests it still may provide big opportunities to advance U.S. red meat exports in participating countries.

Farm Bill

Within the farm bill, Seng says specific priorities are the Market Access Program and also the Foreign Market Development Program. If a new farm bill is not authorized before the end of the year, these programs could be discontinued.

"We really definitely need to have something going forward because the farm bill not only impacts the US Meat export Federation but there are about 80 other organizations like ours that are working assiduously and in the international markets to promote $145 billion worth of agricultural exports that we have," Seng said.

In addition to the MAP and FMDP, the farm bill affects the Foreign Ag Service – an agency that USMEF relies on for export reporting.

"Not having a farm bill is going to really impact one of the brightest spots when it comes to U.S. agriculture," Seng said. "We see this as being very critical going forward."

Regional developments

Despite specific priorities for USMEF, the group says exports remain strong. The export dividend of a fed steer, Seng said, is $253 dollars per head, up $46 from last year. For pork, its $52 for every head.

"The export market is really the difference between profit and loss in agriculture, especially in the U.S. red meat industry," Seng said.