In an 18 to 3 vote, the Senate Finance Committee pass the Trade Promotion Authority legisation.

National Pork Producers Council President Barb Determan, commended Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for proposing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.

"When the House passed TPA legislation on Dec. 6, Sen. Baucus pledged to move legislation promptly through his committee and he was true to his word,” says Determan.

The Senate Finance Committee bill builds on the strengths of the House legislation and its overwhelming committee support suggests that Senate action on the bill could still take place this year.

The World Trade Organization negotiations launched in November makes passage of TPA imperative to the United States– especially the agricultural sector. Without TPA, serious multilateral negotiations cannot take place.

The Doha Declaration mandates a negotiation that should result in substantial trade liberalization for food and agricultural products by establishing a significant increase in market access, the phase-out agricultural export subsidies and the reduction of trade-distorting domestic supports.

“The pork industry has benefited tremendously from prior multilateral agreements and has high hopes for this round,” says Determan. “Since the Uruguay Round Agreement went into effect U.S. pork exports have increased 100 percent as measured by volume and 108 percent in terms of value.”

A recent Iowa State University study shows that U.S. cash hog prices would increase by $10 per head if duties on pork in the WTO negotiations were reduced from current rates to 10 percent.

National Pork Producers Council news release.