R-CALF USA released a statement saying the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, implemented by former President George W. Bush, lacks any real benefits to the U.S. live cattle industry and fails to import relief mechanisms. According to R-CALF USA Region IV Director Jay Platt, Peru negotiated a safeguard for its imports of U.S. beef, but the U.S. did not obtain any reciprocal safeguards on its imports of beef from Peru.
"If Peru were to ramp up its exports to the U.S. and ship more than its quota allocation of beef to the United States, quantity and price safeguards would be the last line of defense to shield U.S. cattle producers from abrupt increases in supplies and declines in prices," Platt said. "R-CALF also is concerned that the Peru FTA will grant preferential access to Peruvian beef products even if they are derived from cattle shipped into Peru from third countries, including Brazil with a herd of more than 190 million cattle, which greatly expands the potential supply of cattle that could be slaughtered and exported to the U.S."
R-CALF is asking that the U.S. include in all free trade agreements a born, raised and slaughtered rule of origin for beef so third countries can't exploit preferential market access. They are working with the U.S. Trade Representatives office to seek general improvements to minimize potential harm to the U.S. cattle industry.