A notice filed Jan. 7 in Mexico’s Diario Official is the start of an official investigation of alleged “dumping” of U.S. pork onto the Mexican market, according the U.S. Meat Export Federation. National Pork Producers Council president Dave Roper calls the action politically-motivated and without merit.

This action comes at a time when many agricultural groups are calling on the Mexican government to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. pork industry has been characterized as wanting to roll back the full implementation of NAFTA, but that is far from the truth, according to Roper.

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

Roper also states that the dumping allegations are a blatant attempt by Mexican producers to make the renegotiation of NAFTA a major political issue. Roper says Mexican producers have benefited significantly since NAFTA was signed in 1994, but are currently not satisfied with the current treaty.

According to Roper, Mexican hog producers are highly profitable and do not need protection from imported pork. “Mexican hog producers earn, on average, 17 times as much per kilogram of live hog as their counterparts in the United States,” he says. “These profits reflect high pork prices in Mexico in comparison to the prices in the international markets, and the success of the Mexican pork industry in exporting pork.”

Roper says current trade data clearly indicate that Mexico has benefited significantly from the agriculture provisions of NAFTA.

“Mexico apparently wants the best of all worlds: to be able to increase exports and block imports,” he says. “This is contrary to NAFTA and must not be tolerated. Mexico should terminate the unwarranted case against U.S. pork exports and refrain from further protectionist measures against U.S. pork exports.”

National Pork Producers Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation