Major Cattle Agreement Reached Between U.S., Canada and Mexico

Standards are set for the export of U.S. and Canadian breeding cattle to Mexico consistent with international guidelines.

U.S, Mexican and Canadian agricultural officials wrapped up a series of meetings Thursday that included an agreement to establishing consistent trade relationships for breeding cattle between the three nations.

"Canada, Mexico and the United States have been engaged in candid, productive talks over the past two days," says Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. "As each other's most important trading partners, we discussed trade in a variety of agricultural products. We mutually agreed on the importance of normalizing beef and cattle trade in North America consistent with the guidelines established by the World Organization for Animal Health."

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples says the agreement will be worth millions of dollars.

On March 4 this year, Staples issued an order banning the movement of Canadian cattle through Texas Department of Agriculture export facilities along the Mexican border. His action came after Mexico signed an agreement with Canada that allowed for a more lucrative trade of Canadian cattle than what had been allowed with U.S. cattle producers. Officials in New Mexico, Arizona and California soon joined Staples in the effort.

"After communicating with my fellow state agriculture directors in Arizona, New Mexico and California about this monumental progress, we are joining together to lift our ban on the Canadian cattle that are shipped through our states," Staples says.

U.S., Canadian, and Mexican agencies will implement the new protocols for the trade of breeding cattle on Friday, March 28.

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