The National Pork Producers Council commends U.S. trade negotiators for completing free trade agreement negotiations with Peru. Once the countries implement the trade pact, U.S. pork producers will gain significant new market access in the South American country.

“Pork producers will benefit greatly from this agreement,” says NPPC president Don Buhl. “U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and USDA Secretary Mike Johanns worked hard to ensure an ambitious deal on pork exports to Peru.”

Buhl, a pork producer from Tyler, Minn., pointed out that the continued success of the U.S. pork industry is dependent on expanding access for pork in international markets. Upon implementation, the U.S.-Peru trade agreement will provide an additional 28 million customers for U.S. pork and pork products.

The FTA talks between the United States and Colombia, Ecuador and Peru started in May 2004. Peru is the first of the Andean nations to complete bilateral trade negotiations. The U.S. Congress must approve a final trade agreement.

“I am not at liberty to disclose the terms of the agreement on pork,” said Buhl, “but I can say that our trade negotiators have hit a home run for the U.S. pork industry. I know that our producers will be very pleased with the terms of the deal and that they will work very hard to help get this agreement passed by the Congress.”