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Kirk addresses USMEF Meeting

Published: May 26, 2009
  (with additional comment from USMEF Vice Chair Keith Miller)    May 23, 2009 - Friday, May 22 in Washington, D.C., U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) that he is committed to making U.S. exports a cornerstone of the nation’s economic recovery. In order to do so, however, he emphasized that trading partners must honor their commitments and grant fair and consistent market access to U.S. products. Effectively enforcing these provisions in major markets, Kirk says, can often have a more positive impact on trade than striking new trade agreements.

Kirk Audio Clip #1    :39      Outcue:  (...out of other markets.)

He added that better compliance by trading partners is also essential for maintaining public support for international trade.

Kirk Audio Clip #2    :25      Outcue:  (...that we're expected to.)

Kirk said his previous experience as mayor of Dallas helps him appreciate the practical impact his policy decisions have on everyday citizens and leads him to strive for actual, tangible results. This philosophy was one of the guiding principles that helped his negotiating team strike a compromise agreement with the European Union in the long, contentious battle over imports of U.S. beef. While the agreement is not everything U.S. farmers and ranchers were hoping for, Kirk said it will provide measurable benefits for the U.S. beef industry.

Kirk Audio Clip #3    :42      Outcue:  ( much value to you.)

Kirk acknowledged the industry's frustration with unreasonable trade suspensions recently imposed on U.S. pork – and, in some cases, beef – due to A-H1N1 Influenza.  

Kirk Audio Clip #4    :24      Outcue:  (...get that issue resolved.)

Kirk said he not only welcomes the input of agricultural producers on matters of trade, he knows it is absolutely essential to his success as the nation’s top trade official.

Kirk Audio Clip #5    :16      Outcue:  (...of the agricultural community.)

USMEF Vice Chair Keith Miller, a farmer-stockman from Great Bend, Kan., said Kirk delivered a powerful message that was well-received by USMEF members.

Miller Audio Clip #1    :19      Outcue:  (...feed the people around the world.) 

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoff programs.