Trade and pork exports were a hot topic being discussed by the National Pork Producers Council during the recent Trade Talk’s at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention. Nick Giordano, Vice President and International Trade Counsel for NPPC, sat down with me to discuss NPPC’s role in protecting US pork producer’s interests both inside the US and abroad.
“National Pork Producers Council is often at the tip of the spear on trade issues because trade is so important to pork producers. We’ve been working closely with other agricultural groups for example, potential trade talks that might get started with European Union. We want to make sure as a threshold issue that pork and other food in ag products are included within the scope of the discussions.”
NPPC announced yesterday that they support a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, but reiterated that any deal must include agriculture and that the EU must address non-tariff trade barriers. A coalition of U.S. food and agricultural organizations led by the National Pork Producers Council sent a signed letter yesterday to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, stating it is important that any FTA with the EU be comprehensive and address impediments to trade in agricultural products.
“Carried out properly,” wrote the coalition to U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk, “a U.S.-EU FTA would generate economic growth and create many thousands of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The EU’s past FTAs have excluded agricultural goods it produces, and its regulatory measures often conflict with World Trade Organization rules, including regulations on “genetically modified” crop approval and labels, which restrict U.S. corn, soy and refined corn product exports, and on production methods in poultry, beef and pork.
As part of agreeing to enter trade talks with the United States, for example, the EU Parliament said any FTA must include language on geographical indications, which would grant the EU exclusive rights to certain product names that, nonetheless, have been widely used outside of Europe for many years.
Listen to my complete interview with Nick here: Nick Giordano - NPPC