Canadian cattle farmers sound alarm over pending beef shortage
President Donald Trump said Tuesday the U.S. should consider “terminating” trade deals that obligate the country to import cattle.
He didn’t specify which trade deals he’s eyeing.
“We have trade deals where we actually take in cattle and we have a lot of cattle in this country and I think you should look at the possibility of terminating those trade deals,” Trump said in a speech to announce a US$19 billion coronavirus-related farm bailout.
The U.S. currently imports live cattle from only two countries: Mexico and Canada, under the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump has already renegotiated. The president suggested allies would be excluded from termination -- “if a country has been a great country and a great ally and a great friend, you have to do that,” he said.
Australia exported a single cow to the U.S. in 2018, the last time the country imported live cattle from anywhere other than its two neighbors, according to Department of Agriculture data.
“There are some countries that are sending us cattle for many years and I think we should look at terminating,” Trump said. “We’re very self-sufficient and we’re becoming more and more self-sufficient.”