April 19, 2022
NCBA calls for the US to suspend beef imports from Brazil
The US-based National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has called on the US government to suspend fresh beef imports from Brazil following a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report underlining higher Brazilian beef imports, NCBA reported.
The NCBA has urged the government to conduct an audit into of Brazil's animal health and food safety to ensure the security of domestic US cattle herd.
The US imported 131% more Brazilian beef last year, with more than 50,000 metric tonnes already imported between January to March 2022.
Following the rise in imports, a temporary tariff safeguard of 26.4% has been imposed on Brazilian beef imports for the rest of this year. The NCBA said while the increased tariff could discourage more imports, it does not address concerns over Brazil's noncompliance with international animal health and food safety regulations.
Ethan Lane, NCBA vice president of government affairs said they have urged US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to put a stop on new beef imports from Brazil, citing the country's lengthy history of failing to disclose bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) cases in a timely manner.
Lane said it is disheartening that the USDA has failed to respond to the association's science-based suggestions, adding that the USDA should reevaluate its position on Brazilian beef and take the necessary steps to protect the integrity of the whole US food supply chain.
NCBA thinks that banning all Brazilian imports is necessary until Brazil demonstrates that it is a trustworthy and dependable trading partner capable of meeting US requirements.
Only 12% of beef consumed in the US is imported, with approximately 75% of beef imports consisting of lean beef trimmings combined with fattier trimmings to form ground beef. The bulk of beef imported into the US comes from nations with structured trade agreements or explicit import limitations. All other beef imports are sold under the 65,000 metric tonne yearly limit for "Other Countries." Beef sold under the "Other Countries" limit is subject to a 4.4 cents per kilogramme duty, whereas beef sold beyond the quota is subject to a 26.4% levy.
The "Other Countries" quota is full, according to the latest US Customs and Border Protection report, resulting in a tariff rise on beef imports from Brazil, Japan, Ireland, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom for the rest of 2022. The majority of the quota was reached in the first quarter of 2022, thanks to 50,000 metric tonnes of fresh beef imports from Brazil to the United States.
- National Cattlemen's Beef Association