National Pork Producers Council president Jon Caspers today expressed strong support for the initiative undertaken by U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Zoellick to revitalize the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade negotiations, which had been effectively on
hold since the failed Ministerial meeting in Cancun last September.

“The WTO negotiations continue to be the top trade priority for U.S. pork
producers,” said Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa. “Since the
implementation of the Uruguay Round tariff reductions, pork exports have
increased by 150 percent, however, average global tariffs on pork remain a
whopping 77 percent. The WTO agriculture negotiations are the best vehicle
to bring these high tariffs down to acceptable levels.”

According to Caspers, NPPC is pleased that the U.S. is trying to jump start
the process and is looking forward to working with the Office of the U.S.
Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that
the interests of U.S. pork producers continue to be taken fully into account
in these talks.

“The sooner an agreement to reduce tariffs, eliminate export
subsidies, and curb other problems is reached, the sooner our producers will
be able to harvest important new sales opportunities,” he said.

Source: National Pork Producers Council