What's the Background?
South Africa in early 2016 partially lifted its ban on U.S. pork, allowing a variety of raw, frozen pork, including legs (unprocessed hams) and shoulders, for unrestricted sale and other pork for further processing. The access was given in conjunction with the renewal of preferential trade benefits South Africa receives through the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act. But since then, the United States has had issues shipping shoulder cuts to South Africa because of a disagreement over lymphatic and connective tissue removal. Additionally, a number of U.S. pork products are blocked based on what the South African government claims are concerns over porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, pseudorabies and trichinae. The U.S. government and the U.S. pork industry have provided information to the South African government demonstrating that U.S. pork is safe and poses a negligible risk of transmission of the diseases. But South Africa has insisted on enforcing costly and burdensome non-science-based requirements on U.S. pork.
Why does it matter to our producers?
The United States over the past 10 years, on average, has been the No. 1 exporter of pork in the world; it is the globe’s lowest cost producer of pork. In any given year, the U.S. pork industry ships product to more than 100 countries. Exports add significantly to the bottom line of all U.S. pork producers, adding more than $48 to the value of each hog marketed in 2015, when $5.6 billion of U.S. pork was exported. South Africa, which had a de facto ban on U.S. pork, partially opened its market in early 2016. But the country still maintains a number of non-science-based restrictions on U.S. pork.
What is NPPC's position?
NPPC supports full market access for U.S. pork exports to South Africa, which is a huge beneficiary of U.S. aid under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) trade programs.