China Lifts H1N1-Related Ban On U.S. Pork

March 19, 2010

Contact: Dave Warner 202-347-3600

Washington, D.C., March 19, 2010 – The United States and China have reached an agreement to reopen the Chinese market to U.S. pork imports, action that should help struggling U.S. pork producers, said the National Pork Producers Council. Pork trade will resume immediately once both sides finalize export documentation.

The Asian nation implemented closed its market to U.S. pork in late April in the wake of an outbreak in humans of novel H1N1 influenza, which the media misnamed “swine” flu.

“This is great news for U.S. pork producers,” said NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa. “China is one of our biggest markets, so being able to ship pork there is extremely important to the U.S. pork industry, which has been hurting economically for more than two years now.

“With the lifting of the H1N1 ban on U.S. pork, we will focus on the remaining impediments to exporting U.S. pork to China,” Carney said.

The U.S. pork industry shipped nearly 400,000 metric tons of pork worth nearly $690 million to China/Hong Kong in 2008, making it the No. 3 destination for U.S. pork. Last year, U.S. pork exports to China/Hong Kong were down by 38 percent, falling to just under $427 million.

In October, at the conclusion of the annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meeting, China announced that it would rescind its pork import ban. Since then, NPPC has worked closely with the Obama administration to pressure the Chinese to actually lift their ban and begin accepting U.S. pork imports.

NPPC is continuing to urge the administration to press China to address a number of other trade-related issues that limit U.S. pork imports. Among those issues are China’s ban on U.S. pork produced with ractopamine – an FDA-approved feed additive that improves efficiency in pork production – subsidies China provides its domestic pork producers and a value-added tax it imposes on imports.

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NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 67,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.nppc.org