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Beef producers urge progress at WTO - IBA Statement

The Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is taking place from 10 to 13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With numerous challenges confronting the global trade environment, members of the International Beef Alliance (IBA) continue to urge Ministers to agree on a path to achieve meaningful trade reforms that lead to liberalization of the global trading environment, while protecting beef producers’ livelihoods.

In this regard, we strongly encourage Ministers 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.

The IBA is unanimous in calling for alleviation of unscientific and unjustified impediments. 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 maximized 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 farmers.