A U.S. Senate vote on the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement is expected the first or second week of December. The National Pork Producers Association strongly supports the trade agreement and is urging Senate lawmakers to approve it. The U.S. House approved PTPA by a 285-132 vote and now the Senate has 15 legislative days to vote on PTPA under terms of Trade Promotion Authority.

The agreement will reduce tariffs on all U.S. pork products to Peru. The South American country currently places duties as high as 25 percent on pork imports. Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes predicts that when the PTPA is fully phased in, U.S. live hog prices will be 83 cents a head more than they would be in the absence of an agreement and that producer profits could rise by 7 percent.

Under the trade pact, some pork products will receive unlimited duty-free access on implementation of the agreement and many others will get tariff reductions over a five-year period. All pork tariffs will be phased out in 10 years. Significant sanitary and technical issues also were resolved in the agreement, with the Peruvian government, for example, agreeing to recognize the U.S. meat inspection system as equivalent to its system.

Also awaiting consideration are deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

Source: NPPC