FORT WORTH, Texas — U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer yesterday announced his key objectives for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which include maintaining duty-free agricultural trade. Richard Thorpe, president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), issued the following statement in response to the USTR plan:
“Since its inception in 1993, NAFTA has been extremely valuable to cattle raisers, especially in Texas where beef exports to Mexico account for more than $338 million each year. I am very pleased that USTR and the administration have heeded the concerns of our ranchers and are taking this step to ensure cattle and beef exports will be safeguarded in the negotiations. We look forward to continuing our work with officials and lawmakers in Washington to expand trade opportunities for cattle raisers in Texas and across the Southwest.”
TSCRA is a 140-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,500 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 55,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.