Meat & Livestock News

New Zealand Meat Industry Engages US Officials Over Lamb Tariff Concerns

Cutting meat in slaughterhouse .

Representatives of New Zealand’s meat industry have been actively engaging with US lobbyists and government officials to maintain the steady export of lamb into the American market.

This follows calls from R-CALF USA, a prominent US cattle and sheep producers’ association, for increased tariffs on imported lamb and mutton, citing the impact of imports from New Zealand and Australia on local producers’ earnings.

Sam McIvor, the chief executive of Beef and Lamb New Zealand, recently returned from the US where he advocated for New Zealand’s position.

“Our aim was to engage with key individuals and to understand the current sentiments. We’re committed to the US market and have been working with the domestic industry to promote and expand it,” McIvor stated.

R-CALF has petitioned the United States Trade Representative to consider raising tariffs on New Zealand lamb, with the review outcome still pending.

McIvor emphasised the potential for market growth, noting the low consumption of sheep meat in the US and the opportunity for both countries to benefit from collaborative market expansion.

This is not the first attempt by the American industry to restrict New Zealand sheep meat imports. Previous legal action proposed by the American Sheep Industry Association did not progress due to insufficient support from the wider industry.

McIvor assured that efforts are being made to mitigate risks, with the New Zealand government also involved in ensuring the stability of lamb exports to the US.