European Union Must Open its Market to U.S. Pork

NPPC’s Position

NPPC wants the EU to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers in line with the free trade agreements the United States has with 20 other nations and to recognize the equivalence of U.S. pork production practices and accept exports from all USDA-approved facilities.


The European Union, with 512 million consumers, is the second-largest pork market in the world. But because of its tariff and non-tariff barriers, U.S. pork sales to the EU significantly lag many smaller countries. The EU, uses tariff rate quotas (TRQs), with high in-quota duties and out-of-quota tariffs that restrict U.S. pork imports. It also has scientifically unjustifiable sanitary-phytosanitary and technical barriers to trade that make shipment of U.S. pork to the EU difficult, if not impossible. Among those barriers, the EU bans the feed additive ractopamine in pork production and pork imports despite the absence of a science-based risk assessment; requires that the United States conduct trichinella risk mitigation as a condition for market access, though there is negligible risk of trichinella in the U.S. commercial pig herd because of high biosecurity protocols and modern production systems; and prohibits the use of anti-microbial or pathogen reduction treatments (PRTs) for pork, even though scientific studies demonstrate that PRTs produce a safer product.

The EU rejects new food technologies and competition from imports, while the U.S. pork industry views both as foundational to providing safe and affordable food to a rapidly growing global population.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in 2018 announced its intention to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU.

Fast Facts

nearly 18,000 U.S. jobs

and billions of dollars in new pork exports would be realized with elimination of the EU’s tariff and non-tariff barriers on U.S. pork.

U.S. pork sales to the EU are lower than they are to much smaller countries, such as Honduras.

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