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Hoeven Commends Access for U.S. Pork Exports to Argentina
North Dakota Ag Connection - 04/16/2018

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the government of Argentina has finalized technical requirements that will allow U.S. pork to be imported into Argentina for the first time since 1992.

Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a final agreement allowing U.S. pork to be exported to Argentina:

"We appreciate the administration's work to finalize this agreement and open the Argentine market to U.S. pork," said Hoeven. "We welcome this new export opportunity for our pork producers. Trade and markets are essential for North Dakota and other agriculture states, and we'll continue working to provide our producers with increased market access."

The agreement allows all fresh, chilled and frozen pork and pork products from U.S. animals to be eligible for export to Argentina, opening a market that had been closed since 1992. In August, the administration reached an agreement in principle regarding U.S. pork exports to Argentina, and announced the final agreement.

Hoeven continues working to open markets for U.S. commodities. The Senator met with the President to outline the importance of supporting the nation's farmers and ranchers, which includes ensuring they have free and fair trade.

Since the White House announced an agreement with Argentina last August, technical staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have been working with Argentina's Ministry of Agro-Industry on new terms for market access that are practical, science-based and consistent with relevant international animal health standards. The finalization of these technical requirements means that U.S. exports of pork and natural swine casings can now resume.

"This breakthrough is the result of efforts by this Administration to help America's farmers and ranchers reach new markets and ensure fair trade practices by our international partners," Perdue said. "Once the people of Argentina get a taste of American pork products after all this time, we're sure they'll want more of it. This is a great day for our agriculture community and an example of how the Trump Administration is committed to supporting our producers by opening new markets for their products."

"I welcome Argentina's decision to allow imports of U.S. pork products and the economic opportunity it will afford to U.S. pork producers," said Lighthizer. "This effort demonstrates the Trump Administration's continued commitment to address foreign trade barriers to American agriculture exports."

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom said, "Argentina's per capita pork consumption has grown rapidly over the past several years, increasing nearly 60 percent since 2011 (based on USDA estimates), and Argentina is the third-largest pork-importing country in South America (behind Chile and Colombia). USMEF has been researching the Argentine market for some time in order to identify commercial opportunities for U.S. pork, and our South America representative, Jessica Julca, is scheduled to meet with importers and other prospective buyers in Argentina next week. Significant interest in the Boston butt has already emerged and we anticipate demand for U.S. hams, picnics and trimmings to be used as raw material for further processing. Argentina also holds potential for U.S.-produced processed pork products.

"U.S. pork exports have achieved excellent growth in South America in recent years, with most of the volume destined for Colombia, Chile and Peru. U.S. pork is also eligible for export to Ecuador and Uruguay, and recently gained access to Paraguay. Expanding the range of export opportunities for U.S. red meat is especially important at a time of increased uncertainty in some of our leading markets. Argentina is an exciting addition with solid growth potential, and USMEF thanks USTR and USDA for their steadfast efforts to regain access to the Argentine market," Halstrom added.

The United States is the world's top pork exporter, with global sales totaling $6.5 billion last year. Argentina is a potential $10-million-per-year market for America's pork producers, with significant growth opportunities possible in subsequent years.

More details on Argentina's export requirements are available from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library at: https://bit.ly/2EJSgdQ.

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