The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) current trade talks, known as the Doha Round, are of chief importance to the U.S. pork industry’s goal of increasing global market access, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) testified before the House Agriculture Committee.

“No trade agreement under negotiation is more important to U.S. pork producers than the Doha Round negotiations,” says Jon Caspers, Swaledale, IA, pork producer and past NPPC president. Caspers also serves as an advisor to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.

He adds: “NPPC fully supports the administration’s recent WTO proposal, which has put the focus of the negotiations where it rightfully belongs – on the refusal of the European Union and other high-tariff countries to offer major improvements in market access.” An example is the high duties imposed on U.S. pork exports by Japan if they fall below a pre-established “gate price.”

Obtaining a major reduction in the gate price, and import duties tacked onto pork imports below the gate price, are top priorities for the U.S. pork industry, says Caspers.