Calgary – As negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement begin, representatives of the Canadian beef industry have gathered in Calgary at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference.
John Masswohl, the director of government relations for the Canadian Beef Breeders’ Association, says that producers are hoping to maintain their gains over the past few years during these negotiations.
“The United States seems to want to bring some protectionist policies back. We do not want that. This is our main concern, “says John Masswohl.
Roland Cailliau has a ranch in Valleyview in northern Alberta. “I think for all beef producers in Alberta, that’s very important, exporting: 60% of our production is exported, largely to the United States. All the agreements we have with the United States are very important, “he says.
On both sides of the border, producers say that NAFTA has had a very positive effect on the beef industry. The breeders want US President Donald Trump not to carry out his threat by withdrawing completely from the current agreement.
The Canadian Beef Breeders Association wants these negotiations to eliminate certain administrative rules that slow trade between the two countries.
One of the rules that posed a problem was introduced after the mad cow crisis. Before a cattle crosses the border, pastoralists must certify that they are born after 1999. They consider this verification to be unnecessary because no more livestock were born before that date.
Washington wants to conclude a new free trade agreement before the end of the year.