Mexico’s recent allegations that the United States has been “dumping” hogs on the Mexican market could put a damper on one of the largest export markets for U.S. pork.

Mexico is currently the second largest export market for U.S. pork with 191,000 metric tons of pork valued at $270 million exported to Mexico in 2001. While 2002 final numbers are not in yet, Mexico continued to be one of the leading export markets for U.S. pork through the first three quarters of the year.

“Any restriction of U.S. pork exports to Mexico would be very damaging,” says Dave Roper, National Pork Producers Council president. “Live hog prices would decline significantly and many U.S. producers would be forced to cease operations.”

Roper also calls the allegations by Mexico a blatant attempt to make the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement a major political issue.  Roper contradicted reports that said the United States pork industry was interested in rolling back the full implementation of NAFTA.

“It is unfortunate that the U.S. pork industry’s position on NAFTA has been misrepresented,” Roper says. “So let me be perfectly clear. We have an agreement already. It is called NAFTA, and we expect Mexico to abide by it.”

To read more about the dumping allegations click here.