U.S. trade representative (USTR) recently released, “Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Barriers to Trade,” which outlines the most commonly referenced SPS issues countries use to build unscientific barriers for U.S. exports.  According to the report, the top barriers to U.S. exports are certification requirements, agricultural biotechnology, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Avian influenza (AI) and maximum residue levels for pesticides.  USTR said, “Some governments impose SPS measures that are disguised protectionist barriers to trade, not grounded in science.  For example, many countries have used the threat of AI or BSE as a reason to block U.S. poultry and beef exports, respectively, ignoring international science-based standards that establish appropriate measures for addressing those diseases.”  The report also identifies China’s ban on imports of pork containing any residue of ractopamine, noting, “The United States strongly disagrees with China’s assertions that there are serious concerns about the safety of ractopamine.  China has not responded to repeated U.S. government requests for risk assessments that support such concerns.”