Nick Giordano, vice president and counsel for international affairs, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) met in Colombia last week with U.S. and Colombian government officials. Discussions centered on implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and market access for U.S. pork exports.
NPPC is working to get the U.S.-Colombia FTA implemented as soon as possible but is concerned about Colombia’s current trade restrictive trichinae requirements. Colombia currently requires that the United States freeze pork as a mitigation against trichinae, despite the negligible risk of trichinosis in the U.S. commercial herd.
According to Dr. Ray Gamble, president of the International Commission on Trichinellosis, the odds of trichinae in the U.S. commercial pork supply is 1-in-300 million. This is well within the range of negligible risk, which is defined by the European Union as 1-in-1 million.
Colombia’s trichinae mitigation requirement should be removed from the export certification before the final implementation of the U.S.-Colombia FTA, according to NPPC.
The full implementation of the U.S.-Colombia FTA will generate an additional $68.9 million in U.S. pork exports and create 919 direct U.S. pork industry jobs while raising live U.S. hog prices by $1.15, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.