Province in Argentina Challenges U.S. Pork Imports

Access for U.S. pork in Argentina could potentially open a $10 million market ( Farm Journal )

The U.S. pork industry is excited about the potential of sending U.S. pork to Argentina – a market that hasn’t been available to U.S. pork for 26 years. One province, however, is balking at the deal.

The National Pork Producers Council has worked diligently with USDA and the U.S. Meat Export Federation to close the deal, which could potentially become a $10 million market for U.S. pork, but according to Politico, the government of La Pampa, reportedly one of the smallest of Argentina’s 23 provinces, has signed a law blocking U.S. pork imports in an effort to “prioritize local pork production.”

The law “will prevent the entry of pork from the United States, a country that is not free of the disease PRRS and that due to measures implemented by the national government was authorized, in detriment to the regional economies of the country,” La Pampa’s government said in a statement, according to Politico.

“The United States produces the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world,” Jim Monroe, senior communications officer for NPPC told Farm Journal’s PORK. “Not only does this restriction violate the spirit of the trade agreement established between the U.S. and Argentina, but it lacks any grounding in scientific fact. PRRS does not pose a food safety risk and has never been shown to spread from one country to another though the legal importation of meat.”

The move is clearly a phytosanitary block of U.S. pork, and Politico says it also shows a backlash to Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s agreement to accept U.S. pork.