Nebraska lawmakers react to export of American pork to Argentina

Pork (MGN)

In a statement released by the White house, President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States and Argentina have agreed to terms that will allow United States pork to enter the Argentine market for the first time since 1992. The agreement follows the August 15 meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and President Mauricio Macri of Argentina during the Vice President’s visit to Buenos Aires. President Trump first raised the issue with President Macri during their bilateral meeting at the White House on April 27.

According to the statement, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were also fully engaged in completing the agreement.

“Today’s announcement is a big win for American pork producers and proves that President Trump is getting real results for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Vice President Pence. “After 25 years of discussions, America’s pork producers will soon be able to export their fine product to Argentina. This is one more example of the commitment of President Trump and his entire Administration to breaking down international trade barriers and making free and fair trade a win-win for American workers, farmers, and our trading partners."

The United States is the world’s top pork exporter, and this agreement opens up a potential $10-million-per-year market for America’s pork producers according to the statement released Thursday from the White House. Argentina has blocked imports of United States pork since 1992, citing animal health concerns. Under the terms of the agreement, all fresh, chilled, and frozen pork and pork products from United States animals will be eligible for export to Argentina.

The statement also said that Argentine food safety officials will visit the United States to conduct on-site verification of the United States meat inspection system, after which United States pork exports will resume pending resolution of any outstanding technical issues.

Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach issued statements following news that the Trump Administration has reached an agreement with Argentina that opens another market for U.S. agricultural products.

“President Trump’s deal to reopen Argentina to U.S. pork exports is good news which will help grow agriculture and the pork industry in Nebraska. Nebraska’s number one industry relies on strong export markets for our high quality products, such as the pork our farmers and ranchers raise,” said Governor Ricketts.

“This new opportunity for Nebraska pork producers provides access to new consumers for the high quality pork raised in Nebraska,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach. “Other countries in Central and South America have already shown strong demand and this can only enhance the sales in the region.”

“The opening of pork markets such as Argentina helps our Nebraska pork industry by providing additional customers for our products. Pork is the number one protein product consumed worldwide. Our family farmers are proud to help supply these international markets,” said Al Juhnke, Executive Director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association.

Congressman Adrian Smith also released a statement about the agreement to restore trade access for U.S. pork to Argentina for the first time since 1992.

“More good news for Nebraska agriculture today, as the Trump administration continues opening more markets to producers,” Smith said. “In June, U.S. beef producers gained access to China’s market, bringing an end to a 14-year ban. Now, our pork producers can sell to Argentine consumers for the first time in 25 years.

“I applaud these efforts to bolster U.S. agriculture. It is vital we continue working to increase market access for producers.”

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer also reacted to the announcement of a new U.S. deal to export American pork to Argentina.

"I am pleased the administration has negotiated a deal with Argentina, which will expand market access opportunities for Nebraska’s pork producers. Nebraska ranks sixth in the nation in hog production and this new agreement will provide consumers in Argentina with high quality pork from our state. I applaud the administration for following through on its promise to get better deals for our producers who work hard to feed the world every day."

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