The National Pork Producers Council submitted comments recently as part of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) investigation of U.S. trade with sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report from NPPC.
“Last November, following the receipt of a letter from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, USITC launched its investigation into expanding trade in the region,” NPPC states. “The investigation will examine opportunities for trade expansion between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa.”
According to NPPC, the U.S. pork industry has seen increased pork sales with South Africa following the country’s decision to partially lift its ban on pork imports. It says that during the first nine months of 2017, “U.S. sales to the nation reached 946 metric tons, a 200% increase from 2016.”
South Africa restricts the import of pork from countries with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), though the World Health Organization has claimed that trade does not increase the risk of transmitting the disease, NPPC states. The nation also requires non-frozen pork imports to be tested for trichinae, though the parasite is not present in commercial pork.
“NPPC supports lifting the trade restrictions imposed by South Africa, which would support the U.S. pork industry’s efforts to expand export markets throughout the region,” the report says.
The USITC plans to deliver its final report to the USTR by April 30.