Canada imposes tariffs on U.S. beef
for Tri-State Livestock News
Canada imposed new tariffs on beef on July 1, according to CNBC and other news stations.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association urges cooperation between the two countries:
“For the past few weeks Canada has threatened to retaliate against the United States by slapping a tariff on $170 million worth of U.S. beef products in direct response to the steel and aluminum tariffs. Today, they made good on that threat. These retaliatory tariffs were and still are clearly avoidable, and the unfortunate casualties will be Canadian consumers and America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. We may not know the extent of the damage these tariffs may have on our producers, but we believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation. As Canadians gather to celebrate Canada Day and we prepare to celebrate American Independence, we encourage our government and the Canadian government to remember that we are allies and we rely on each other for future economic prosperity.”
The president of NCBA-affiliated South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, Larry Stomprud of Mud Butte said he’s not surprised that Canada imposed tariffs on U.S. beef in retaliation of earlier U.S. tariffs.
He does not believe that the U.S. should respond with tariffs on Canadian beef, and he believes both countries’ beef and cattle industries need the other.
“They can’t function normally without us and we can’t function normally without them. This trade war will hurt both of us. I’m just hopeful that we’re going to get some of these trade agreements resolved soon.”
Stomprud said he couldn’t guess as to how the Canadian tariffs will affect fall calf prices, but he expects it will have a negative impact.
R-CALF USA said that the U.S. imports far more Canadian beef than Canada imports from the U.S., and the group urges the U.S. to impose its own tariffs on Canadian beef.
“Canada has enjoyed a huge trade surplus in the trade of cattle, beef, beef variety meats and processed beef with the U.S. in each of the past 24 years that NAFTA has been in effect. As a result, U.S. cattle producers have had to absorb a $31 billion cumulative deficit.
“This persistent trade deficit, averaging more than $1.3 billion per year, has weakened our U.S. cattle industry and has eliminated profits for current cattlemen as well as opportunities for prospective cattlemen to enter our industry.
“We urge President Trump to empower American citizens to send a message to Canada through their purchasing decisions.
“If President Trump will reinstate country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef, American citizens can express their support or objection to Canada’s efforts to reprimand America for daring to protect its critical steel and aluminum industries.
“R-CALF USA is convinced that if American consumers are afforded the right to choose to purchase beef produced exclusively in America or beef produced in whole or in part in Canada, the government of Canada will quickly retreat from its threatening posture.
“In addition to our unwavering support for mandatory COOL, we have previously asked the administration to impose tariffs on beef and cattle originating from countries that maintain a persistent trade surplus with the United States. Obviously, this would include Canada.”
White River, S.D., rancher and R-CALF-USA committee chair Kenny Fox, said President Trump’s tariff strategy has brought the U.S.’s trading partners to the table, so to speak.
“He throws those tariffs out there and he gets them to the bargaining table.”
Fox also said that the United States doesn’t need Canadian products bad enough to justify the country kowtowing to its neighbors to the north. “If Canada wants to play that game, maybe we should put tariffs or quotas on their products. Anytime the U.S. cattle market gets strong, they flood our market with cattle and beef, and down our market goes.”
Fox said the futures market has been strong since the tariff announcement so he doesn’t fear the tariffs will harm the U.S. cattle market in a serious way. ❖