U.S. trade negotiators have completed negotiations on a free-trade agreement with Panama. Once a trade pact is implemented, according to NPPC, U.S. pork producers will gain significant new market access in the Central American country, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

“This agreement will contribute greatly to the bottom line of U.S. pork producers by opening up new market access to more than 3 million additional consumers in the Western Hemisphere,” says NPPC President Joy Philippi, a pork producer from Bruning, Neb. “Our future is heavily dependent on expanding access for U.S. pork in international markets.”

Trade agreements, such as the North American Free-Trade Agreement, the Uruguay Round and various bilateral FTAs, have prompted exports of U.S. pork and pork products to grow to more than $2.6 billion from $394 million in 1989.

“We (the pork industry) worked closely with U.S. trade officials to get a free-trade agreement with Panama that is beneficial to U.S. pork producers,” says Philippi.

Source: National Pork Producers Council