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Mexico Extends Zero-Duty on Imported Meat Through 2024

By Jean-Paul McDonald
Farms.com

In a significant move to tackle rising food prices, the Mexican Government has extended its zero-duty treatment for certain food imports, including pork, beef, and poultry, through the end of 2024. This extension, initially set for 12 months from May 2022 and then through 2023, represents a key development in the global meat trade. 

Mexico, a major player in the meat import market, has been the leading destination for U.S. pork exports. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) have facilitated duty-free access for U.S. and Canadian pork.  

However, this exemption has mainly benefited suppliers from the European Union and Brazil, with Brazilian pork making significant inroads into the Mexican market after gaining access in early 2023. 

The situation took a turn when Mexico suspended imports of Brazilian pork following a court ruling that identified procedural deficiencies in implementing Mexico's sanitary requirements. Despite this suspension, likely to be temporary, the impact on the U.S. market share was negligible.  

In fact, U.S. exports to Mexico increased during this period, with Brazilian pork primarily replacing imports from Canada and the EU. 

This policy extension by Mexico is a strategic step in stabilizing food prices domestically while having a ripple effect on the global meat trade. It underscores the interconnected nature of international food markets and the importance of trade agreements in shaping these dynamics. 

Mexico's decision to maintain zero-duty imports for an extended period reflects a broader global trend of nations adopting policies to shield their populations from inflation, particularly in essential commodities like food.  

For exporters worldwide, this presents both challenges and opportunities, as they navigate a landscape where traditional trade patterns can shift in response to governmental policies. 

As the global agricultural community continues to adapt to these changes, Mexico's extended duty exemptions offer a window into how trade policies can influence both domestic markets and international relations.  

The extension until the end of 2024 offers a predictable environment for exporters and importers in the meat industry, allowing for strategic planning and adaptation in a rapidly evolving global market. 


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