Klobuchar wants China to reopen its markets to American porkU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is urging Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Trade Representative Ron Kirk to ensure China keeps its commitment to reopen its markets to American pork exports.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, leading 18 senators in a letter Thursday, urged Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Trade Representative Ron Kirk to ensure China keeps its commitment to reopen its markets to American pork exports.
“Minnesota pork producers across the nation should not continue to be unfairly denied access to Chinese markets,” said Klobuchar. “I will continue to push the Administration to hold China accountable for its commitments and to expand opportunities for U.S. exports overseas.”
Since the discovery of the H1N1 virus, domestic hog farmers have suffered from decreased international demand, despite no known link between eating pork products and the virus. U.S. producers have faced increased trade barriers, as China and other countries used the H1N1 virus as an excuse to bar American pork products, thereby boosting their domestic pork industries.
Following the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in October, U.S. officials announced that China had pledged to re-open its market to the United States and follow consistent, scientifically based standards for accepting imported meat. However, China continues to deny access to its markets for U.S. pork products.
Nationwide, the U.S. Pork industry supports 35,000 full-time equivalent jobs, 515,000 indirect jobs and generates $34.5 billion of gross national product to the U.S. economy. Minnesota is the nation’s third largest pork producer, with 2,500 farms and more than 20,000 jobs in hog production and pork processing.