MINOT, N.D.- The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) passed the Senate Finance Committee on a vote of 25-3. It will move to the full Senate later this month.
The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, also known as I-BAND, is holding meetings across the state to get ranchers and beef producers caught up with proposed USMCA regulations.
I-BAND President Dwight Keller says the main issue with this new agreement is labeling practices regarding the place of origin for beef products on the market aren't specific enough.
“We need to have the ability to distinguish our product in the marketplace and offer the consumer the ability to choose whether that product is born, raised and processed in the USA. And I think that the thing we can do is move forward in trying to get rules of origin established again.” Keller Said
Country of Origin Labeling requirements were repealed in December of 2015. After they were repealed, I-BAND says the price of beef and quality of their products for other countries dropped considerably. I-BAND also says getting legislation passed like the Beef Integrity act is a step in the right direction. The Act allows meat to be labeled as USA beef only if it was born, raised, in slaughtered in the United States.
Keller said I-BAND also wants more beef producers to be involved and become advocates for their industry.