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Pork Associations Urge Vote Soon on Trade Deals

by 5m Editor
10 May 2011, at 12:12pm

US - The National Pork Producers Council and 39 state pork associations in a letter sent yesterday to Republican and Democrat leaders in the Senate and House urged lawmakers to approve three pending free trade agreements.


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"Colombia, Panama and South Korea are crucial markets for US agricultural products, and the industry stands to gain sales with implementation of the FTAs."
Doug Wolf, NPPC President

The groups asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to vote on FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea “as soon as possible after receiving [from the White House] the enabling legislation.“

“Colombia, Panama and South Korea are crucial markets for US agricultural products, and the industry stands to gain sales with implementation of the FTAs,“ said NPPC President Doug Wolf. “For the US pork industry, the trade agreements with those countries will add significantly to producers’ bottom line and create thousands of pork industry jobs.“

According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, by full implementation, the three FTAs combined will generate more than $770 million in additional pork exports annually, causing live hog prices to increase by $11.35 and creating more than 10,200 direct pork industry jobs.

In their letter, NPPC and the state pork associations pointed out that “[if] the US fails to implement the three FTAs, however, these potential gains will become losses as we relinquish our export sales to countries that have implemented their own FTAs with Colombia, Panama and Korea.“

The United States already has lost sales in Colombia because of that country’s FTAs with other nations. Its share of the Colombian agricultural market has fallen to 27 per cent in 2009 from 44 per cent in 2007. And Chile, through its 2004 FTA with South Korea, has increased its market share in the Asian nation because of its tariff advantage over other major pork exporting countries. Chile’s import tariffs on pork going to South Korea will go to zero by 2014.