iNDICA News Bureau-
United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced Jan 10 that the government of India had agreed to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products into India, removing a longstanding barrier to U.S. agricultural trade.
The news follows the revitalization of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum held in New Delhi in November last year, during which Tai raised the importance of access for U.S. pork with India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.
In June 2019, the USTR had terminated India’s participation in the Generalized System of a Preferences program, which provides developing countries beneficial access to the U.S. market. The USTR took the action because India did not provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets to U.S. produce, including pork.
“This new opportunity marks the culmination of nearly two decades of work to gain market access for U.S. pork to India – and it signals positive movement in U.S.-India trade relations,” said Vilsack.
“We will continue working with the Indian government to ensure that the U.S. pork industry can begin shipping its high-quality products to consumers as soon as possible.”
Tai said, “India’s agreement to allow U.S. pork imports for the first time is great news and a significant development for U.S. producers and for Indian consumers… and I appreciate Minister Goyal’s efforts to facilitate this important development.”
American pork farmers welcomed the announcement. “After decades of work, a market that had been closed to U.S. pork is being opened,” says National Pork Producers Council president Jen Sorenson. “NPPC thanks the Biden administration for reaching an agreement with India on market access for our products. We look forward to the new access, which will allow us to provide affordable, wholesome and nutritious U.S. pork products to consumers in India.”
In 2020, the United States was the world’s third-largest pork producer and second-largest exporter, with global sales of pork and pork products valued at $7.7 billion. In fiscal 2021, the U.S. exported more than $1.6 billion of agricultural products to India.