Despite this week's visit to Russia, where President Obama and his U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, addressed import/export issues, Russian officials announce that more pork product imports will be suspended. Effective July 15, Smithfield Packing Company's Smithfield, Va., hog slaughter plant will not be allowed to ship pork to Russia, according to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
FSIS offered no explanation as to the reason for this latest ban, which marks a long run of on-again/off-again listings of plants that cannot ship meat products into Russia. U.S. pork and poultry have been the biggest targets. U.S. trade officials, the administration and the pork and poultry industries have been working to resolve issues and negotiate future directives with the Russians.
Specifically, just this week, President Obama asked Moscow to lift bans on U.S. pork and poultry as a way to move forward on other trade matters between the two countries.