Pork Asks For Trade Support

The National Pork Producers Council reminds us that international trade is crucial for pig farmers here in the U.S.

Trachelle Carr leads international affairs with NPPC. She says the organization has had trade wins in 2023, but feels they’ve been lacking support from the federal government to pursue trade deals.

In 2023, the U.S. pork industry exported nearly $8.2 billion in products to over 100 countries – a record year. The top markets included China, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and Canada, and pork exports have grown in regions such as Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Australia.

Foreign countries seek cuts that Americans turn their noses up at, such as tongue and intestine. Trade partnerships bring value to those products, Carr explains.

NPPC continues to stress to officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that free trade agreements are crucial to all of agriculture, not just pork.

Carr explains that Trade Promotion Authority gives Congress the power to engage in trade negotiations. This authority has ended and has not been reinstated. NPPC is asking for Congress to have that power back.

In the Farm Bill, specifically, NPPC wants to see international trade made a priority and is asking for more funding for the Foreign Market Development Program and Market Access Program, Carr says. These programs fund the National Pork Board and the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the two marketing arms for pork producers.

NPPC wants to see the U.S. gain market access to Africa. Africa is home to more than 50 countries and boasts a population made up mostly of folks under the age of 30. Carr says last year, NPPC gained market access to Ghana. In 2022, they saw success with Nigeria. South Africa is taking some U.S. pork as well.