Senators Call on Vilsack, Froman to Address Pork Export Barriers

A group of 31 Senators - led by Indiana's Joe Donnelly and Iowa's Chuck Grassley have written a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack about the importance of addressing barriers to market access for American pork producers in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The letter notes the importance of exports to the economic well-being of pork producers and the U.S. economy as a whole - stating that U.S. pork production supports an estimated 550-thousand domestic jobs - with 110-thousand of those directly resulting from exports. The Senators also pointed out that pork exports now make an annual surplus contribution of nearly five-billion dollars to the overall U.S. trade balance. The Senators - pointing to numerous market access barriers for U.S. pork in TPP participant countries - insisted that all tariffs and non-tariff barriers on pork in TPP partner nations be eliminated as part of the TPP agreement.

The other Senators signing on to the letter were Amy Klobuchar, Deb Fischer, Tom Harkin, Roy Blunt, Carl Levin, Pat Roberts, Tim Johnson, Mike Johanns, Robert Casey, Richard Burr, Tammy Baldwin, Rob Portman, Debbie Stabenow, Mark Kirk, Mark Udall, John Thune, Claire McCaskill, John Barrasso, Sherrod Brown, James Inhofe, Richard Durbin, John Cornyn, Michael Bennet, Tom Coburn, Mark Pryor, Patrick Toomey, Jerry Moran, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee.

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