NPPC Urges Congress To Pass PNTR For Vietnam

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pointing out that pork represents 72 percent of the meat consumed by Vietnam’s 84 million people, the National Pork Producers Council in testimony today urged Congress to approve permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for the Southeast Asian nation, a move that would let U.S. pork producers increase exports to the country.
calendar icon 13 July 2006
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PNTR would allow U.S. exporters to take advantage of Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization. In May, the U.S. and Vietnam finalized an agreement on market access, which paved the way for the Asian country to join the WTO. Vietnam also has made numerous improvements to its implementation of WTO rules on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and has agreed to recognize the U.S. inspection system for pork as equivalent to its inspection system.

“NPPC strongly supports WTO membership for Vietnam and will urge Congress to approve Permanent Normal Trade Relations status for Vietnam as a necessary step in the membership process,“ NPPC’s Jon Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa, told the Senate Finance Committee. “U.S. pork exports have climbed to unprecedented levels as a result of past trade agreements. Vietnam will be a particularly excellent market for U.S. pork variety meats.“

According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, the Vietnamese accession deal will increase U.S. pork variety meat exports to Vietnam from $3 million in 2004 to $16.5 million by 2012. The economic impact of this increase in exports equates to $0.52 per hog, or 4.4 percent of producer profits.

To complete its accession bid to the WTO, Vietnam must complete bilateral market access negotiations and multilateral negotiations on a Working Party Report and Protocol of Accession. Vietnam also is still in the process of enacting legislation that will enable it to apply WTO provisions after its accession. The country is expected to join the WTO before the November meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which consists of 21 nations.

“I strongly believe that the future of the U.S. pork industry, and the future livelihood of my family’s operation, depend in large part on further trade agreements and continued trade expansion,“ Caspers told the Senate committee in expressing the importance of PNTR for Vietnam.

The U.S.-Vietnam agreement was made possible in part because of the effective working relationship between NPPC and the National Pork Board and their shared goal of increasing U.S. pork exports.

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