Experts continue to promote exports

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Exports remain a huge factor in the success of the pork industry.

NPPC Several experts gave updates on export developments at a workshop June 5 at World Pork Expo in Des Moines.

Dr. Dermot Hayes, a professor of economics at Iowa State University, said the domestic pork market continues to be steady, which is why exports present such an opportunity for growth.

But there remain problems, such as trichinae.

“We know there’s no trichinae in the U.S., but proving it is another thing,” he said.

Several export markets try to protect their domestic industries by bringing up U.S. trichinae, and if U.S. exporters are forced to use expensive trichinae testing, the costs can make exports not financially viable.

Hayes also urged a higher level of funding from the Pork Checkoff go to export promotion.

“We need to look forward not back (because) that’s where the growth is,” he said.

Laurie Hueneke of the National Pork Producers Council, said while exports are a top priority, the pork industry has concerns that new Country of Origin Labeling regulations may not be compliant with the World Trade Organization’s rules.

“The U.S. industry is not happy with COOL,” she said. “We think it increases costs and is not consistent with WTO rules.”

She said the WTO expects to rule on COOL late in 2014 or early 2015.

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