As various government officials congregated at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organization in Buenos Aires, Argentina, earlier this week, the IBA said work needed to be done to tackle the challenges facing the global trading environment.
In a statement, it said: “We strongly encourage Ministers to reduce or eliminate the use of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies (among other production- and market-distorting measures). The use of these domestic subsidies continues to significantly disadvantage efficient agricultural producers. Furthermore, the use of tariffs, quotas and temporary safeguard tariffs continues to pose barriers to beef trade.
“The IBA is unanimous in calling for the alleviation of unscientific and unjustified impediments to trade. Such non-tariff barriers impose unwarranted costs on value chains. As this process moves forward, it is important that international trade agreements benefit all people, including small business owners.
“Hundreds of thousands of beef producers in the member nations of the IBA are small business owners, trying to make a living for their families by raising cattle. International trade is the lifeblood for beef producers, since the value of each animal can only be maximised when every part of the animal can be sold to the market that most values it. Improved market access under the WTO could enable our producers’ products to gain access to more consumers and put more money in the pockets of producers.”
The call was supported by Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand. “We back the IBA’s call for Ministers at the WTO Ministerial Conference to reduce or eliminate the use of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies, amongst other production and market distorting measures.
“The use of these domestic subsidies continues to significantly disadvantage efficient agricultural producers. Furthermore, the use of tariffs, quotas and temporary safeguard tariffs continues to pose barriers to beef trade. This also flows through to consumers, raising prices and reducing choice for them.”
Who is the International Beef Alliance?
The International Beef Alliance includes the national organisations representing beef cattle producers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay and the USA. Together, the Cattle Council of Australia, Associação dos Criadores de Mato Grosso, Associação Nacional dos Confinadores de Brasil, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, Asociación Rural de Paraguay, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association represent producers from countries that account for approximately 46% of global beef cattle production and 63% of global beef exports.