Meat industry reacts to Donald Trump election

Meat industry reacts to Donald Trump election

Key figures in the meat industry have shared their views with Meat Management on the election of Donald Trump as US president and what it could mean for the sector.

Katie Doherty, policy and operations manager for the International Meat Trade Association (IMTA), said: “It is impossible to know which way things will go with Trump. His election campaign was anti-international trade, blaming free trade deals as the reason for America’s problems but it is hard to believe that Trump will actually move to dismantle all of America’s existing FTAs as that would certainly not ‘make America Great again’. That said, it doesn’t look good for the EU-US or TPP agreements which were in progress.

IMTA's Katie Doherty.

IMTA policy and operations manager, Katie Doherty.

“Trump had sympathies with the UK’s Brexit vote and it is possible to see an alliance of this ‘anti-establishment’ sentiment by way of a trade deal. But really it is impossible to see which way things will go for trade between the UK and the US, it just adds to the uncertainty for the sector. The process of global events at the moment is causing shocks to currency exchange rates which will see winners and losers trading meat across the world.

“With upcoming elections in several EU countries we may see the further rise of those representing ‘anti-establishment’ and protectionist perspectives which in the round is not good for free trade deals.”

PTF director general, Andrew Kuyk.

PTF director general, Andrew Kuyk.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) marketing manager, Rhys Llywelyn, says that HCC is anxious to see continued progress on opening the US market to Welsh Lamb following Trump’s election.

“Research by HCC and Welsh Government has shown significant potential, especially on the east coast,” he commented.

“After many years of work, we of course want to see the current moves to open the market seen through, and very much hope that the incoming US administration will continue the current progress.”

Speaking on behalf of the wider food industry, Andrew Kuyk, director general of the Provision Trade Federation (PTF), said: “Apart from destroying any remaining faith anyone had in opinion polls, Donald Trump’s unexpected victory adds yet more uncertainty to an already uncertain outlook for the food industry.

“Campaign rhetoric on both sides was pretty protectionist. But Trump did speak explicitly about tearing up or renegotiating a number of existing trade deals. On the other hand he also said the UK would go ‘to the front of the queue’ for any post Brexit agreement.

“The short answer is we will have to wait and see. But none of this is likely to steady sterling in the near future, whose weakness remains the main immediate concern for any business having to import supplies or raw materials.”

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