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USDA, USTR strike deal with China to resume U.S. pork purchases

March 20, 2010

Things appear to be looking up for the pork industry.

It doesn’t seem like it was very long ago when H1N1 was dominating the news, pork prices were in the dumps and the Russians and Chinese had stopped buying U.S. pork over unscientific fears.

Prices have recovered.

Earlier this month Russia said it would resume U.S. pork imports.

Now China has followed suit.

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2010 – The United States and China have reached an agreement to reopen the Chinese market to U.S. pork and pork products, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today.

“When I traveled to China with U.S. Trade Representative Kirk in October, our discussions with Chinese officials laid the groundwork for reopening this market,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This resolution is excellent news for American hog producers.”

“This agreement is a win for America’s pork producers, whose safe and high-quality exports can now flow freely into China and support agriculture jobs here at home,” Ambassador Kirk said. Kirk further stated, “I am also pleased that China affirmed in our meetings that they will base their decisions on international science-based guidelines.

In 2008, prior to H1N1 trade constraints, U.S. pork and pork-variety meat exports to China were nearly $275 million, and China was the United States’ seventh largest market, accounting for 6 percent of U.S. pork exports, USDA said.

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