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FTA passage urged by US pork council

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has urged the US Congress to support the job-promoting Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, Peru and Panama.

This message was made clear at last week's World Pork Expo, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The deals will eliminate tariffs and barriers to trade that currently limit US pork products from going into those countries.

In a letter sent to every member of Congress, the council pointed out the benefits of trade to the US economy, generally, and the pork industry, specifically.

NPPC president Jill Appell said that, according to Iowa State University economists, pork exports, which in 2006 accounted for 15% of domestic pork production, generated 82,500 US jobs in the pork industry alone.

A majority of the jobs are located in rural America. Overall, the US pork industry supports an estimated 550,000 domestic jobs, generates more than $97.4 billion annually in total US economic activity and contributes $34.5 billion to the US gross national product.

The bottom line for pork producers is that pork exports raise the price they receive for their hogs. The Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, Peru and Panama, when fully implemented, will raise US live hog prices per head by $10, $1.63, 83 cents and 20 cents, respectively.

"Pork exports have contributed greatly to the profitability of US pork producers in recent years," said Appell.

"NPPC urges to support the trade agreements with the Republic of Korea, Colombia, Peru and Panama and thereby improve the financial livelihood of pork producers throughout the nation."

Related website:
• National Pork Producers Council
• Iowa State University

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