The Mexican government’s contention that the U.S. is dumping pork into their country is politically motivated and without merit, says Dave Roper, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a producer from Kimberly, ID.

"U.S. pork is not being dumped into Mexico," he says. "This case is a blatant attempt by Mexican pork producers to make the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a major political issue. Mexican pork producers, who have benefited significantly since NAFTA was signed in 1994, are not satisfied with the current treaty and are currently disrupting Mexican commerce with protests and other measures aimed at further restrictions on American agriculture."

Roper adds, Mexican producers are highly profitable and do not need protection from imported pork. "Mexican hog producers earn, on average, 17 times as much per kg. (2.2 lb.) of live hog as their counterparts in the U.S. These profits reflect high pork prices in Mexico in comparison to the prices in international markets, and the success of the Mexican pork industry in exporting pork."

At the same time Mexico is trying to restrict pork imports, they are also trying to liberalize imports of feed grains into Mexico, he says. Mexico is the second largest export market for U.S. pork with 210,000 tons of pork valued at $270 million shipped to Mexico in 2001.