Last week, the U.S. announced an agreement with India allowing US to export pork to the country. This announcement comes with excitement and new possibilities to markets outside India says Maria Zieba, National Pork Producer Council’s Vice President of Affairs.

The fact that they really agreed to the standard export certificate without a lot of restrictions. That's been very exciting because we can go ahead and use that model and that template or other similar countries in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.

Market access is important to producers. According to the NPPC, over 25 percent of pork production is exported to other markets. In 2020, the US pork industry exported $7.7 billion in pork and pork products to over 100 countries.

A lot of that was concentrated on a few key countries where we've spent a lot of time getting better market access through either free trade agreements or one-off trade agreements.

And with Iowa being the top pork producing state in the country,

It's pretty safe to say that a big portion of our exports are directly tied to Iowa production, but it's also part of a larger supply chain and we do rely heavily on both corn and soy farmers from Iowa as well who provide our great inputs for our hogs

Outside India

Having India sign the standard export certificate will help producers not only take advantage of that market but also access others.

You don't want to be producing one way for one country and another way for another because that really, that really weighs down on the value and how much money you're going to get in the long run in your process.

In 2021, pork producers were able to get better access to the Philippines’ market. Currently, that is only a twelve-month fixture, but Zieba says they are trying to make that more permanent.

Our focus has been in Southeast Asia, the Philippines and making permanent share productions in the Philippines, as well as Vietnam. Those are key countries that are in dire need of pork. They've seen really high pork prices because of African swine fever, really devastating their domestic herd.

And you can’t talk about trade without looking at China. The NPPC hopes to get current tariffs on trade to China removed.

China's a big market for our exports. But unfortunately, we still see that 25% retaliatory duty, and that's what we keep pressing the Chinese government to remove for our pork products because they do need our product and it's unfortunate that we have to pay a higher tariff or tax on our pork exports.

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