U.S. Poultry Industry: Mexico’s Inclusion in Trans Pacific Trade Partnership a Positive Opportunity
In response to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) request for comments and investigation on negotiating objectives with respect to Mexico’s participation in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the National Chicken Council (NCC), Washington, D.C., and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), Stone Mountain, Ga., expressed support and offered suggested conditions for the country’ inclusion in the trade pact.
“Mexico’s membership is unconditionally supported by our industry, and we view its inclusion as an opportunity to demonstrate improved relations by our government agencies and, thusly, both of our industries,” says Mike Brown, president of NCC and Jim Sumner, president of USAPEEC.
In a request letter to USITC, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) stated that Mexico joined TPP negotiations and asked the USITC to provide advice concerning the probable economic effect of a U.S. free trade agreement with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
In their testimony, Brown and Sumner stressed that Mexico’s participation in TPP does not offer anything in terms of tariff reductions since the two countries have long eliminated duties on poultry products. What it does offer, they say, “is an opportunity for the two governments to negotiate on the two issues that remain thorns in the side of liberalized trade in poultry—lack of productive movement on sanitary and phytosanitary issues and the use of bogus antidumping cases to hinder trade.”
Two negotiating objectives for Mexico’s inclusion in the TPP are:
• The negotiation of a specific and mutually agreed work-plan and timetable for recognition of END-free areas in Mexico, and for recognition of equivalency of the Mexican poultry inspection systems, with a view toward establishing an acceptable level of two-way trade as soon as possible, consistent with public and animal health protection; and
• The negotiation of a “peace clause” that would prevent either country from bringing antidumping cases, or imposing antidumping duties, on the other’s poultry products.
For more information about the investigation, go to www.usitc.gov.