NPPC Applauds Chile Free Trade Agreement

US - NPPC President Jon Caspers strongly endorsed the Free Trade Agreement with Chile that will be signed today. "This agreement provides exciting new export opportunities for U.S. pork producers," said Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa.
calendar icon 9 June 2003
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According to Caspers, the tariffs on all pork and pork products immediately will be eliminated when the agreement is implemented. "U.S. officials have worked very hard to ensure that this tariff elimination results in real market access by resolving some outstanding sanitary matters," he said.

The government of Chile announced earlier this week that all U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved pork facilities are now eligible to ship pork to Chile. Caspers remarked that, "absent this development, the tariff reductions would have provided no real benefit to U.S. pork producers. Our pork safety and quality, and our meat inspection system, are second to none -- and it is good that Chile now officially recognizes this."

Caspers praised United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick, USTR Chief Agriculture Trade Negotiator Allen Johnson, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, and their staffs. "Our trade officials have worked hard to open a new export market for us," he said. "U.S. pork producers appreciate the commitment of President Bush and his Administration to opening new markets for U.S. agriculture."

Caspers also expressed thanks to the many members of Congress who took a strong interest in opening Chile's market to U.S. pork exports. Specifically, Caspers commended Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). "Sen. Grassley was deeply involved when it came down to crunch time in the negotiations," he said.

Caspers also recognized the work of Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Ranking Member Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "Pork producers are very appreciative of the support they have received from Sen. Harkin in the Chile negotiations," he said. "NPPC looks forward to working with the Congress to get the Chile Free Trade Agreement passed as soon as possible."

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 5th June 2003

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