Pork exports add significantly to the bottom line of each U.S. pork producer, so opening new and expanding existing markets for U.S. pork exports through free trade agreements (FTAs) are vital to the continued success of the U.S. pork industry.
U.S. exports of pork have increased by 1,550 percent in value and nearly 1,300 percent in volume since 1989, the year the United States implemented the FTA with Canada and started opening international markets for value-added agriculture products. The importance of trade deals is evident given that the United States now exports more pork to the 20 countries with which it has FTAs than to all other nations combined.
FTAs can be bilateral – between two countries – or multilateral – among three or more. Through such agreements, the U.S. pork industry works to reduce or eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork exports. Any restrictions that do remain in place must be based on sound science.