The United States is without question one of the leading nations in global politics, but this stand may be what keeps the United States from becoming the leading pork exporter globally.

Take for example the recent dispute after a U.S. intelligence plane and a Chinese fighter jet collided. The Chinese government is still holding the crew as negotiations between the two countries continue.

Regardless of who’s to blame or what action needs to be taken next, it’s safe to say that relations between the United States and China have been strained.

Any type of strained relations with China could have repercussions on their entry into the World Trade Organization. Perhaps, the greater danger is lingering hostilities between the two countries affecting trade attitudes after China’s admission into the WTO.

Specific to pork, the United States and Canada are basically on equal footing when it comes to production methods, cost of production and product quality. But Canada does not have all the political baggage that the United States does. Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economist, says that could be the one differentiating factor and it could tip the scales in Canada’s favor when it comes time to export pork to China.

That’s a big price to pay for the U.S. pork industry. China could potentially be the richest pork export market of them all, once infrastructure and other issues are worked out. Hopefully, by that time U.S./ China relations will be on better terms, allowing the U.S. pork producers to capture as much of the Chinese export market as possible.

The last word on China’s WTO prospects was that negotiations had hit another snag. China insisted they be allowed to subsidize agricultural outputs as a developing country, rather than a developed country. A compromise seems likely, but as yet, none has occurred.