The United States and Russia recently agreed to changes in the protocol governing trade of poultry, beef and pork. The biggest gain for US farmers and ranchers in this new agreement is a near doubling of the country-specific tariff rate quota for US pork.
The quota had been 50,300 metric tonnes (110.9 million pounds) per year, but has now been increased to 100,000 metric tonnes (220.5 million pounds) for 2009. The trade protocol between the two countries has been in place since 2005, and the US pork quota has never exceeded 55,000 metric tonnes during that time. The previous high was 54,800 metric tonnes – about 119 million pounds – during 2006.
According to USMEF Economist Erin Daley, Russia is attempting to grow its own pork industry. But it simply doesn’t have enough domestic pork production at this time to meet its growing needs.