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US trade deals with EU or UK must include open access for US pork

22 October 2018, at 12:00a.m.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) says any new trade agreement involving the United States and the United Kingdom or the European Union must include the elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers on pork

Last week, on the heels of the successful conclusion of negotiations aimed at modernising trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and South Korea, the Trump administration announced that it will initiate trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom.

National Pork Producers Council Senior Communications Director Jim Monroe says, in terms of negotiations with the EU and the UK, US pork producers will only support a deal that eliminates both tariffs and non-tariff barriers on pork.

Mr Monroe says: "Very positive news that we're going to start those discussions but we believe, US pork producers believe that any trade agreement with the UK and with the European Union needs to be based on international or US production practices.

"Right now there's some significant differences in terms of acceptable production practices between the European, the UK and the US.

"If European standards are the focus of those discussions we won't see too much value in those trade agreement so that's pretty much a non-starter for us.

"We want to see free trade between the EU and the UK and we're very interested in expanding what we ship to those regions of the world and believe that, if we can compete on a level playing field, we're going to do extremely well but the production practices that it's based on have to be aligned with our interests."

Monroe says there has been positive momentum on the trade front and, as access is opened to new markets, as long as it's on a level playing field, US pork can compete very well against any other nation.

As reported by Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape.Ca