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WPX 2011: Fresh Call to Implement FTAs

by 5m Editor
8 June 2011, at 6:25pm

US - The National Pork Producers Council has renewed its call for free trade agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to be ratified immediately, writes ThePigSite editor in chief, Chris Harris.

Speaking at the opening of World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Sam Carney , the immediate past president of the NPPS and head of the trade committee said that if the FTAs were not put into force, the EU would steal the trade potential from the US.

Such a move would hit US exports and pig industry jobs, he said.

Mr Carney said that the free trade agreements would be worth 10,000 jobs to the US pork sector and would generate an addition $772 million in new exports adding $11 to the price of a pig for the producer.

"We have been working hard on this and we are frustrated with the delays to the free trade agreements," Mr Carney said.

NPPC vice president for international affairs Nick Giordano said that the industry hopes and expects the free trade agreements to be ratified and placed into practice by the summer recess for Congress in August.

He said that the FTAs have been on hold for three years and need to be immediately implemented to prevent the industry lagging behind.

"If we don't implement the agreement with Korea and the EU does, we will be out of the market in 10 years," he said.

Mr Carney stressed the importance of pig meat exports to the sector. He said they generate $4.8 billion and have reached 1.91million tonnes over the last year.

This is a three per cent rise in volume and a 12 per cent rise in value.

"The US is the number one exporter and the lowest cost producer," Mr Carney said.

It has been estimated that the FTA with South Korea will generate an additional $687 million in pig meat exports and the FTA alone with create more than 9,000 jobs.

The Panama FTA will generate $16 million more in exports and the Colombia agreement would boost exports by $68.9 million creating nearly 1,000 jobs.