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NPPC Applauds Passage Of Peru Trade Pact

by 5m Editor
9 November 2007, at 7:38am

US - With passage by the House of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), the US pork industry is one step closer to gaining 28 million potential new customers and increasing profits for U.S. pork producers, said the National Pork Producers Council in applauding today’s 285-132 vote.

NPPC urged the Senate to immediately take up and approve the agreement, which would reduce tariffs on all U.S. pork products to Peru. The South American country currently places duties as high as 25 percent on pork imports.

“This is a critical step toward passage of a trade deal that is of vital importance to U.S. pork producers,” said Jill Appell, NPPC president and pork producer from Altona, Ill. “Now we need the Senate to quickly pass the PTPA. The sooner the Senate passes the agreement, the sooner the U.S. and Peruvian governments can implement the deal, which will generate new exports that flow directly to the bottom line of our producers.”

When the PTPA is fully phased in, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, U.S. live hog prices will be 83 cents a head more than they would be in the absence of an agreement; producer profits will rise by 7 percent.

Under the trade pact, some pork products will receive unlimited duty-free access on implementation of the agreement and many others will get tariff reductions over a five-year period. All pork tariffs will be phased out in 10 years. Significant sanitary and technical issues also were resolved in the agreement, with the Peruvian government, for example, agreeing to recognize the U.S. meat inspection system as equivalent to its system.

Leading campaigner
NPPC, which led the Agriculture Coalition for U.S.-Latin American Trade in support of the PTPA, pulled out the stops for passage of the agreement. In addition to congressional district contacts, on several occasions NPPC had pork producers from around the nation come to Washington to visit with their lawmakers and urge them to approve the trade deal.

The Peru agreement is the first of four pending free trade pacts to see congressional action. Also awaiting consideration are deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

“As we push for Senate approval of the Peru agreement,” said Appell, “we’ll also be asking Congress for a vote early next year on the Colombia agreement, which would add $1.63 to the price producers received for each hog they market.”

Further Reading

- For another report on South American FTAs click here.

5m Editor