NPPC applauds US initiative to advance WTO talks

by 5m Editor
15 January 2004, at 12:00am

US - National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Jon Caspers today expressed strong support for the initiative undertaken by U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Zoellick to revitalize the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade negotiations, which had been effectively on hold since the failed Ministerial meeting in Cancun last September.

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"The WTO negotiations continue to be the top trade priority for U.S. pork producers," said Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa. "Since the implementation of the Uruguay Round tariff reductions, pork exports have increased by 150 percent, however, average global tariffs on pork remain a whopping 77 percent. The WTO agriculture negotiations are the best vehicle to bring these high tariffs down to acceptable levels."

According to Caspers, NPPC is pleased that the U.S. is trying to jump start the process and is looking forward to working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that the interests of U.S. pork producers continue to be taken fully into account in these talks. "The sooner an agreement to reduce tariffs, eliminate export subsidies, and curb other problems is reached, the sooner our producers will be able to harvest important new sales opportunities," he said.

"While the WTO negotiations remain at the top of NPPC's trade agenda, NPPC continues to work closely with the Administration on many other trade issues of importance to pork producers. Caspers noted that NPPC has been successful in its efforts to keep the Mexican pork market open to U.S. pork exports. He also noted that NPPC continues to speak with the Administration about the onslaught of Canadian hogs imports.

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 13th January 2004

5m Editor