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China Needs to Open Market to US Pork

by 5m Editor
3 March 2010, at 11:58am

US - In a letter sent late last week to US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, 22 senators urged them to do “everything within your means“ to get China to reopen its market to US pork imports.

In late April 2009, China banned the importation of US pork, citing concerns over the H1N1 flu outbreak. Several months ago, China announced that it would lift the ban, but the market has yet to be re-opened.

In a separate letter to Ambassador Kirk sent the same day as the Senate letter, Representative Ike Skelton, D-Mo., also asked that China be pressed to reopen its market to US pork. “We must do everything possible to ensure the commitment to reopen China’s market is fully honored,“ said Mr Skelton.

China purchased more than $334 million – $690 million if Hong Kong is included – of US pork in 2008. But because of the H1N1 ban, pork exports to the Asian country fell by 61 percent in 2009.