Pork Producers Need Trade Deals To Expand Exports

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Regardless of size, pork producers benefit from trade agreements, and Congress should approve pending trade deals and renew Trade Promotion Authority, the National Pork Producers Council said today in congressional testimony.
calendar icon 14 June 2007
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“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 under Trade Promotion Authority,” former NPPC President Jon Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa, told the House Small Business Committee. “Regardless of whether the pork from a particular hog is exported, the price impact of exports lifts the U.S. price for live hogs so that all producers benefit.”

Pork exports add $33.60 to the price producers receive for each pig, according to economists with Iowa State University. Free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, Peru and South Korea, which are awaiting congressional action, would add another $12.66 per pig to producers’ bottom line.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expires June 30, allows the president to negotiate trade agreements with other countries and requires Congress to approve those deals without amendments – or to reject them. It gives trading partners confidence that the agreements they negotiate with the United States will not be renegotiated by federal lawmakers.

New and expanded market access through trade agreements has been the most important catalyst for increasing U.S. pork exports. Since the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement was implemented in 1989, exports of U.S. pork products have grown to more than $2.6 billion from $394 million.

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