News 346 views last update:Nov 5, 2007

US pork council seeks access to EU and Japan

A delegation from the US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) recently travelled to Geneva, Switzerland for meetings with US trade negotiators, WTO director-general Pascal Lamy and trade officials from some WTO nations to highlight the need for a new global multilateral trade agreement for the US pork products.

The NPPC's request for greater market access to the EU and Japanese markets has come at a critical time for WTO member countries who have recently revived the so-called Doha Round negotiations, which originally began in 2001 and have stalled once since.

Lower trade barriers
Lowering trade barriers and permitting free trade in agriculture is one of the objectives of the Doha Development Round commenced in Qatar in November 2001.

The NPPC has been calling for greater new market access into the EU and Japan for US pork exports in return for pork producer support of the Doha negotiations.

Granting access
Leader of the delegation, NPPC president Jill Appell, restated the fact that EU officials are aware that a deal can only be concluded by granting the US greater access to EU market for pork.

"US exports to the EU merely amount to 20,000 metric tonnes yearly while EU annual consumption of pork totals 20 million metric tonnes," she said.

Both the EU and Japan were called upon to lower the web off tariffs and non-tariff barriers that block access of US pork exports.

Special case
Japan is a special case. It represents the top export market for US pork and according to NPPC CEP Neil Dierks, the US "is only barely making an impact with pork exports in the Japanese market."

The US relies on trade agreements and expansions hereof to increase pork exports. In 1989, the US Canada Free Trade Agreement was implemented which has resulted in a growth of more than US$2.6 billion in exports. Hence, the need to travel to Switzerland.

Related websites:
• National Pork Producers Council
• WTO Doha Development Agenda

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