U.S., Brazil Take Steps to Open up Pork Trade

Flag representing the country of Brazil, a major competitor to the US soybean industry ( MGN )

The U.S. pork industry is getting closer to trade opportunities with Brazil. In a joint statement released by the White House on Tuesday, President Donald Trump and President Jair Messias Bolsonaro of Brazil committed to building a new partnership between their two countries – one that may help U.S. pork producers.

The two leaders made a number of trade-related commitments. President Bolsonaro announced that Brazil will implement a tariff rate quota, allowing for the annual importation of 750,000 tons of American wheat at zero rate. 

In addition, the U.S. and Brazil agreed to science-based conditions to allow for the importation of U.S. pork. 

Although trichinae has been all but eliminated in U.S. pork production, Brazil authorizes imports of only U.S.-origin pork and pork products that have been tested and shown to be free of trichinae, or if mitigation measures are enforced in the production process.

To move away from inefficient, costly and unreasonable trichinae mitigation efforts, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Pork Board (NPB) worked with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to change standards within the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Codex Alimentarius. 

According to Bobby Accord, former USDA APHIS Administrator, the new chapters and standards on trichinae are science-based and fair.

"U.S. officials have been working to secure access for U.S. pork exports to Brazil for some time, but some details remain unresolved. South America is a rapidly growing region for U.S. pork exports and USMEF is pleased to see pork access to Brazil among the key trade issues discussed at this week's meeting," says U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom.

The U.S. also agreed to send inspectors to Brazil for a “technical visit” to audit Brazil’s beef inspection system so that Brazilian beef exports to the U.S. could resume.

However, Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Wednesday that a U.S. agreement to conduct further inspections on the country’s meatpacking system is a step toward reopening the United States to fresh Brazilian beef, but is not sufficient, reports Reuters.

“This is a positive step for U.S. pork producers, but what’s really important is an end to trade disputes that have prompted retaliatory tariffs against U.S. pork in Mexico and China,” says Jim Monroe, NPPC senior director of public relations.

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