After all the talk about trade with Mexico and the still to be ratified United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA), we still saw a very strong July for pork exports to our southern neighbor. Much of this is due to pork regaining a duty-free status.
A 20% retaliatory duty, which was imposed on most U.S. pork products for nearly a full year in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, was removed in late May. In July, exports to Mexico topped 67,000 mt, up 19% from a year ago, while value surged 38% to nearly $127 million.
Gerardo Rodriguez is the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) marketing director for Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic. He says when we faced a tariff, the USMEF was playing defense and trying to not lose market share to competitors with a better trade picture. However, nw we are back to playing offense with the duty-free status.
Rodriguez says they are working with new processors to meet the growing demand among Mexican consumers.
Hopefully, the success of U.S. pork in Mexico can be an indicator that trade negotiations need to be taken care of soon.