Both Mexico and Canada ready to hold U.S. accountable to its obligations.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

March 18, 2024

2 Min Read
Marc Bruxelle/ iStock/ Thinkstock

Calling it discriminatory against Mexican producers, Mexico’s ministry of economy has announced it is rejecting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) newly finalized “Product of USA” labeling rule that stipulates the terms “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” may only be used on meat, poultry, and egg products derived from animals raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States.

The agency, calling on USDA to reconsider, said the new rule could create barriers in binational production chains, in particular, to Mexican exports of live cattle and beef and its derivatives which, in 2023, amounted to $3 billion dollars.

The agency further stated that the rule may result in food chain disruptions, as well as logistical complications and additional costs. This, it said, would ultimately end up being paid by Mexican producers as well as all American consumers.

Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) also expressed disappointment and concern about the finalized USDA rule, saying the measure does not take into consideration the deep integration of the livestock and meat industries of North America.

Both the ministry of economy and SADER said the rule is inconsistent with U.S. obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Related:USDA finalizes Product of USA rule

SADER said it is ready assist the ministry of economy and the ministry of foreign affairs to defend the interests of Mexico’s agricultural and livestock sectors, and the economic ministry warned that it may resort to dispute mechanisms under the USMCA and the WTO.

Mexico joins Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, along with meat trade groups in the country, who also expressed similar concerns about the rule following USDA’s announcement last week. In a joint statement, Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Minister Mary Ng said they are reviewing the final rule carefully and will closely monitor its impacts and implementation, including U.S. international trade obligations.

"Canada remains concerned about any measures that may cause disruptions to the highly integrated North American meat and livestock supply chains,” they stated. “We are disappointed that the final rule does not appear to take into account the concerns we have continually brought forward related to our unique and important trading relationship. Canada intends to raise this during the agriculture ministers trilateral meeting with United States and Mexico scheduled to take place in Colorado later this month."

Related:Canadian pork producers respond to Product of USA rule

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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