President Obama announced Monday an invitation for Mexico to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, a trade agreement which has the potential to strengthen the beef trade and eliminate "non-science based" trade standards, said National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President Bob McCan.
"Mexico is our second-largest export market and their participation in these negotiations is paramount. TPP has the potential to be the beginning of a new era in global trade where tariff and non-tariff barriers are eliminated and standards are based on sound, objective science instead of political protectionism, McCan said.
McCan said the potential benefits to the agreement could strengthen bonds between nations and encourage global security.
"This agreement could likely become much more than a multi-lateral free trade agreement. Eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers promotes greater economic stability and job creation in all countries," he said.
NCBA is encouraging the United States to secure full and free market access to all TPP countries, which would cause prices to be determined by market demand, and not trade barriers, which McCan called "the greatest hindrances to U.S. beef trade."
McCan said non-science based standards in multiple countries have caused an enormous amount of damage to U.S. beef trade.
"We cannot afford to perpetuate politically-motivated standards as a justification for public safety. All TPP countries must agree to and abide by the highest sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards possible, in accordance with the World Trade Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health. Mexico being a part of this historic agreement is a victory for global trade and for all U.S. cattle ranchers," McCan said.
Joining the United States in the TPP agreement are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
In recent months, Canada has also been in the running for a bid to join the TPP, but has received criticism for its agricultural subsidy programs, which the National Pork Producers Council claims has the potential to disrupt American hog markets.