National Pork Producers Council President Jon Caspers says he is disappointed that there was a failure on the part of negotiators to move ahead in the World Trade Organization (http://www.wto.gov) ministerial meeting held in Cancun, Mexico, recently. However, he added that NPPC was pleased that the U.S. government, USDA Secretary Ann Veneman and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick promoted the interests of pork producers and the entire U.S. agricultural community during the discussions.

“The talks are still alive– there is simply too much at stake for failure– including hundreds of billions of dollars in global economic growth,” says Caspers, a pork producer
from Swaledale, Iowa. “We’re not certain when the next WTO ministerial meeting will take place, but we can be sure that the Bush Administration will be moving forward on a number of other trade initiatives that impact the interests of pork producers.”

According to Caspers, while there are many issues of importance to U.S. pork producers in the WTO talks, the single most important issue is market access. In this area, Japan is the capstone of the pork industry’s market agenda.

National Pork Producers Council