Nick Giordano, vice president and counsel of International Affairs at the National Pork Producers Council, reported that in 2009, the United States exported 1.86 million metric tons of pork valued at $4.32 billion, a decrease of 9% in volume and 11% in value, compared to 2008. The decline was mostly attributed to decreased demand from Russia and China.

However, Giordona reminded, U.S. exports of pork and pork products have increased by more than 688% in volume and 657% in value since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994 and the Uruguay Round agreement in 1995. "New and expanded market access through trade agreements drives growth in U.S. exports, He announced during a press conference during World Pork Expo.

Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University economist, has calculated that U.S. hog prices are $64/head higher than they would be in the absence of esxports. The U.S. meat export market has generated 200,000 additional jobs, a growth of 20,000 to 30,000 jobs as annual exports have grown, Hayes adds.