Representatives of the U.S. pork industry say “we’ve got the momentum on trade headed in the right direction.” National Pork Producers Council President Jim Heimerl stated “pork producers are hurting because of retaliatory tariffs on pork,” but says their patience is starting to pay off. The comments followed the formal announcement that the U.S. is seeking new free trade agreements with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom.
That announcement follows the recent completion of negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, now named the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, if approved. Between the USMCA, and the recently updated agreement with South Korea, NPPC points out that the administration has maintained the U.S. pork industry’s zero-tariff access to three of the top five destinations for U.S. pork exports. However, NPPC notes, that while the organization is open to trade negotiations with the United Kingdom, it is skeptical about EU intentions.
Heimerl says “The EU has played the United States like a drum in the past,” adding that NPPC expects the U.S. to require the EU to eliminate all tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork.