The National Pork Producers Council has submitted comments on three Federal Register notices requesting input on Japan, Mexico and Canada joining the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

TPP is an Asia-Pacific trade pact currently including nine nations: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

NPPC supports Mexico’s and Japan’s entry into TPP, which would provide an opportunity for U.S. pork producers to increase exports to those top U.S. markets. Japan is the top value market for the U.S. pork industry, which shipped $1.65 billion of pork there in 2010. Mexico is the industry's largest volume market and number two value market, with exports in 2010 of 545,000 metric tons, valued at $986 million. The Mexican market represents 20 percent of U.S. pork exports and 4 percent of U.S. pork production.

NPPC opposes inclusion of Canada in the TPP because of that country’s large subsidies to the Canadian pork industry. The subsidies, NPPC points out, violate a U.S. countervailing duty law and World Trade Organization rules and have a negative impact on employment in the U.S. pork industry. The subsidies continue to cause significant distortions to the North American hog market, said NPPC in its comments.

According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, the newly implemented Ontario Risk Management Program, which provides income stabilization to Canadian pork producers, will cause the U.S. pork industry losses of $162 million in production value and cost nearly 1,300 U.S. jobs within 10 years after implementation.

Because subsidies currently are not being discussed in the TPP negotiations, NPPC will remain in opposition to Canada’s inclusion in the TPP until the country eliminates its pork industry subsidies.

Source: NPPC