Mac Killebrew, vice president of international sales at Tyson Foods in Springdale, Ark., has been elected chairman of the board of the Stone Mountain-based USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) just in time to lead its lobbying efforts on behalf of NAFTA.
A member of the North American Agriculture and Trade Coalition, USAPEEC is a signatory to a letter to the current administration that NAFTA is a “bonanza for American agriculture.”
USAPEEC even went further and notified the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that the U.S., along with Brazil, is one of the two leading poultry exporting nations in the world
“Free trade agreements like NAFTA have been the mechanisms that have helped us to sustain U.S. global leadership in poultry exports,” says the council. It was joined in its statement by the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation.
On the chance that the government agencies were unaware of the importance of the trade, USAPEEC pointed out that poultry exports are among the most important of all U.S. agricultural exports with as many as 3.7 million metric tons of chicken products with a value of $4.6 billion exported to more than 100 countries.
The two major recipients of these exports are the U.S.’s NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada.
According to USAPEEC, before NAFTA the U.S. had only limited exports to Mexico despite its proximity. Mexico’s free trade concerns were appeased at the beginning through an initial tariff-rate quota for chicken products. Exports apparently have grown ever since and today it is “by far our largest market for U.S. poultry products.”
Canada has resisted free access for U.S. poultry products and has imposed supply-control limitations, USAPEEC says. “Nonetheless, NAFTA has been valuable for U.S. industry and has helped to grow export to Canada” the U.S.’s second largest market for poultry exports.
USAPEEC also backed preliminary negotiations between the U.S. and Canada as included in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that provided indications for improvements in the NAFTA agreement such as increasing the quotas for U.S. chicken into Canada. It also backed what it called significant progress made in the course of TPP negotiations to improve and update the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) rules applicable to free trade agreements.
Mr. Killebrew, who was elected June 15 during USAPEEC’s annual meeting in Cancún, Mexico, succeeds outgoing Chairman Steve Monroe, manager of export sales at Sanderson Farms in Laurel, Miss. Mr. Monroe will serve as past-chairman.
As chairman, Mr. Killebrew will head the 30-member USAPEEC board of directors, which sets policy and gives direction to the organization that has the mission to promote and increase exports of U.S. chicken, turkey, duck, and egg products worldwide.
Elected to the USAPEEC executive committee were Butch Johnson, director of Globex International USA, Atlanta, first vice chairman; and Ryan Downes, sales manager at Farbest Foods in Huntingburg, Ind., second vice chairman. Joel Coleman, vice president and general manager of international and industrial commodity sales at Butterball in Mt. Olive, N.C., was re-elected secretary-treasurer of the organization.
Also on the executive committee are Mark Barrett, vice president of Lamex Foods in Minneapolis, new at-large member; Chaz Wilson, COO of Grove Services in Atlanta, new at-large member; Scott Chapman, vice president of industry relations at Lineage Logistics in Richmond, Va., associate member-at-large; Gary Berg, District 13 director at the Illinois Soybean Association, commodity member at large. Monroe will remain on the executive as past-chairman.
Thierry Murad was named chairman of USAPEEC’s marketing committee. The chairman of this committee also serves on the board and has a seat on the executive committee.
For more information, call Toby Moore, vice president of communications, at (770) 413-0006 or send an email to email@example.com