In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday, the National Pork Producers Council encouraged further work with Jamaica to obtain greater U.S. pork market access.
"U.S. pork is exported to over 100 nations in any given year and the U.S. typically is the world's largest exporter of pork, but the barriers in Jamaica prohibit virtually all U.S. pork," the letter said. The letter explains that some of Jamaica’s restrictions are based on unwarranted claims regarding the pseudorabies virus (PRV).
Not only has the U.S. hog herd has been PRV-free since 2003, there is no scientific evidence that supports Jamaica's claim that the disease can be transmitted to hogs through raw pork. In fact, no other country imposes PRV-related import restrictions on U.S. pork.
"President Trump has called for reciprocity in our trading relationships. We strongly agree. We find it infuriating that Jamaica, the second-largest recipient of benefits from the Caribbean Basin Initiative program, continues to stonewall the United States on this matter. We urge you to break the logjam and open the Jamaican market to U.S. pork," the letter added.