November 27, 2018
After two decades, Argentina to sign beef deal with US
Argentina is on the verge of signing a deal with the United States that would allow trade of fresh beef for the first time in 17 years, Argentina's international trade secretary, Marisa Bircher, told Reuters.
The agreement, expected to be signed within days, would open two-way trade between the two countries.
Argentina will have a 20,000-tonne limit on its exports to the US, Bircher said, while there will be no limit on US beef going to Argentina.
On Monday the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had deemed Argentine beef to meet US sanitation requirements.
"Opening the border to raw beef from Argentina is certain to put downward pressure on US cattle prices, and meat packers will be able to use this cheaper, undifferentiated beef as a direct substitute for beef produced by US cattle producers," Joe Schuele, spokesman for the US Meat Export Federation, said.
Bircher said Argentina stopped exporting beef to the US 17 years ago due to US concerns about contamination of Argentine cattle by foot-and-mouth disease.
"We have eliminated that through a vaccine programme in our livestock sector," she added.