Mexico Extends Tariff Exemption on Pork, Beef, Poultry Imports Through 2024

Introduction: The Mexican government has recently announced a decree extending the zero-duty access for certain food imports, including pork, beef, and poultry, from eligible suppliers until the end of 2024. This move aims to address inflation and maintain economic stability, marking the second full-year extension to the initial suspension of import duties implemented in May 2022.

Background: The decision to extend tariff exemptions comes in response to economic challenges and the need to support the import-dependent food industry. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) highlights that the suspension, initially introduced to combat inflation, was first extended through 2023 and now continues through the entirety of 2024.

Impact on Market Competition: While the United States and Canada benefit from duty-free access for pork to Mexico through existing trade agreements, the extension of this privilege to other countries has influenced market dynamics. Erin Borror, USMEF’s Vice President of Economic Analysis, points out that the main beneficiaries have been the European Union and Brazil. Brazil, in particular, significantly increased its shipments to Mexico, surpassing 5,000 metric tons per month after commencing shipments in February 2023.

Challenges and Opportunities: Despite Brazil’s success in capturing market share, a temporary suspension on Brazilian pork imports was imposed in November 2023. This decision followed a court ruling highlighting procedural deficiencies in Brazil’s adherence to Mexico’s sanitary requirements. While this suspension temporarily impacted market dynamics, Erin Borror notes that U.S. pork maintained and even increased its share.

U.S. Pork’s Resilience: Borror emphasizes that the majority of U.S. pork exports to Mexico are chilled, making it challenging for Brazil to compete directly. Consequently, the U.S. pork’s share of total exports to Mexico surged to 84%, showcasing the resilience and competitiveness of the U.S. pork industry despite external market pressures.

Conclusion: The extension of tariff exemptions on pork, beef, and poultry imports in Mexico through 2024 provides stability for the food industry amidst economic uncertainties. While challenges arise from market competition, the U.S. pork industry has demonstrated resilience, maintaining a significant share in the Mexican market. The evolving dynamics underscore the importance of adaptability in the global trade landscape.