During this week’s The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-R) discusses the recent trade setback with Russia, one of the major markets for U.S. meat products.

Click here to listen toThe Ag Minute. The transcript from Crawford is below.

“A major market for U.S. meat exports has been effectively closed.  Russia announced a ban on U.S. meat imports produced with the feed additive ractopamine. This ban is not supported by science.    

“Our meat exports contribute $832 billion annually to the U.S. economy.  Unfortunately, they face these types of arbitrary trade barriers when countries decide to protect their domestic industry. 

“Russia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has claimed to be committed to fair and open trade practices, but closure of their market for unfounded reasons is a direct violation of their agreement.

“Unfortunately, the administration was unsuccessful in heading off Russia’s move, which is now costing our producers significantly.  The United States exports over $600 million in beef, pork, and poultry products to Russia each year.  Further, Russia’s decision has already emboldened other countries, like China, to follow suit.

“The administration had promised our farmers and ranchers that they would benefit from Russia’s inclusion in the WTO. Now the administration must take the necessary steps to ensure full access to this important market.”

The Ag Minuteis Chairman Frank Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.