The National Pork Producers Council and an allied group of meat an poultry industry organizations called on President Bush to use his authority to reopen 29 West Coast ports closed by a labor-management dispute.

In the letter the associations said the port closures are exacerbating an already difficult economic period for livestock, meat, poultry and hide industries. Approximately $1 billion is exported annually to the Pacific Rim from the affected ports.

NPPC President Dave Roper says, “A combination of large volumes of domestic supplies, exacerbated by the six-month ban on U.S. poultry exports to Russia, have had a significant impact on prices for pork and livestock. We fear the closing of West Coast ports could have profound economic impacts for pork producer and their ability to provide quality food products for the worldwide consumers.”

Roper also said NPPC met with White House officials earlier last week and stressed that the President needs to take immediate action to reopen the ports. “There is a real concern that if a timely resolution isn’t reached, producers could see the market place diverting export products to domestic sales, thus negatively impacting pork demand,” says Roper.

National Pork Producers Council