NPPC Disappointed by WTO Trade Talks

by 5m Editor
31 July 2008, at 12:06pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Pork Producers Council is deeply disappointed by the breakdown of the World Trade Organization trade talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

The so-called Doha Round negotiations broke down over an impasse between the United States and India over the use of an agricultural special safeguard for developing countries. NPPC supported the U.S. administration’s opposition to the proposed safeguard, which would have led to import duties in excess of those agreed to in the last WTO trade round and which would have threatened the strong growth in exports that U.S. pork producers have enjoyed in recent years.

NPPC remains hopeful that the Doha Round negotiations, which have been going on for more than seven years, can be quickly resumed. For NPPC, a successful Doha Round agreement would include improved market access for U.S. pork in developed and developing countries, complete elimination of the European Union’s trade-distorting export subsidies for pork and other products and deep cuts in EU domestic support to European farmers and cuts in tariffs on pork. The average global tariff on pork is a staggering 77 percent.

NPPC and the Bush administration have put particular focus on improving market access in two top priority markets, the European Union and Japan, but also are giving considerable attention to improved market access in fast growing Asian markets such as China, Taiwan and the Philippines.

“As unsubsidized producers who are heavily dependent on exports, we have held high hopes for the Doha Round negotiations,” said NPPC President Bryan Black, a producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio. “Obtaining a reduction in import duties is vital to our economic interests, and we have always viewed the Doha Round as a unique opportunity to get that done.

“We also were keenly interested in seeing an end to European Union export subsidies for pork,” Black added. “And, of course, more market access for our product is absolutely critical.”

5m Editor