Statement from Bill Clements regarding cattlemen and ranchers, circa 1978
Statement from William P. Clements regarding cattlemen and ranchers and describing his policy of beef exports.
Clements, William P., 1917-2011
United States. Department of Agriculture
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
Administrative Division | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Clements Texas Papers
BILL CLEMENTS ON CATTLEMEN AND RANCHERS Beef exports are tremendously important to the total domestic economy, as well as the balance of payments of this country, and thus I would urge that every means possible be used to expand the export of U.S. beef products. American ranchers are the most efficient in the world and thus will fare best under a free market system. If an improvement in cattle prices is to be long-lasting it must be achieved through prices obtained in the marketplace not through government restrictions and quotas. Every effort must be made to open up and develop foreign markets for American beef products. Beef prices are high in many areas of the world but U.S. cattlemen cannot meet this demand because excessive import restrictions keep them out of these markets. Efforts must be made to develop consumer desire for beef products in countries where beef is not customarily a part of their diet. As this export policy is expanded our own import restrictions must be relaxed. At present I would favor import quotas be modified as suggested by Senator Bentsen. The Bentsen Bill would automatically provide for decreased imports during periods of domestic oversupply and increased imports in periods of short supply. This policy would tend to level out the ups and downs in the cattle supply and demand cycle. I would also support requirements that foreign beef be labeled as such and be made to meet U.S.D.A. standards. The government can best help cattlemen and ranchers by seeking to remove export barriers and to develop new markets for beef, especially in developing countries. 15