NPPC: Free trade agreements critical for expanding U.S. pork market access

In 2023, the U.S. pork industry exported 2.9 million metric tons of pork and pork products valued at over $8.2 billion.

May 1, 2024

1 Min Read
National Pork Board

Last week the National Pork Producers Council submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on “objectives and strategies that advance U.S. supply chain resilience in trade negotiations, enforcement, and other initiatives.”

As a preface to its request for comments, USTR claimed that past U.S. trade and investment policies have led to supply chain vulnerabilities and the “movement of global production to countries with weaker rules and standards related to labor, environment, transparency, and governance issues.” NPPC noted that the Biden administration’s trade efforts have focused almost exclusively on those areas and very little on market access issues.

In comments submitted, NPPC said U.S. trade and investment policy over the last several decades has been beneficial for the U.S. pork industry, the U.S. agricultural sector, and the broader U.S. economy. Abandoning that policy “will cause long-term damage to economic prospects of U.S. agricultural producers.” NPPC urged USTR to rethink its approach, including eschewing free trade agreements, which “are an indispensable tool to enhance U.S. agricultural competitiveness, as well as supply chain resiliency.”

Additionally, NPPC noted such agreements “foster collaboration and cooperation among participating countries, encouraging the sharing of best practices, information, and resources related to supply chain management. … The certainty of long-term market access afforded by preferential trade agreements ultimately provides the economic incentives needed to invest in resilient, diversified supply chains by the private sector.”

"U.S. agricultural trade is vital to America’s farmers and the overall U.S. economy. Over the past four decades, agricultural exports have grown significantly, particularly to countries with which the United States has negotiated FTAs," NPPC concluded.

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