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000532 NPPC Commends House on Vote for China Trade

May 28, 2000

Washington - National Pork Producers Council President Craig Jarolimek hailed the 237-197 House vote in favor of granting permanent normal trade relations status to China, calling it the dawn of a new era of opportunity for American pork producers.

“American pork producers are striving to create their own future, and today's vote in the House moves them one step closer to that goal,” Jarolimek said. “While pork producers will not rest until a positive vote in the Senate is secure, we can see the finish line clearly for the first time.”

Jarolimek, of Forest River, N.D., characterized the U.S. - China trade agreement, which will be triggered by an affirmative vote in the Senate as potentially, “the single greatest export opportunity for American pork producers.”

In April testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, agribusiness economist Dermot Hayes of Iowa State University said demand for pork by 1.2 billion Chinese consumers could easily boost the value of hogs by $5 per head.

Hayes added that because Chinese consumers prefer different cuts of meat, like stomachs, kidneys, hearts, and intestines, increased hog exports to China would not raise domestic prices for the American Consumer.

Under the U.S. - China WTO agreement, tariffs on frozen pork variety meats and frozen pork muscle meats, will be phased down to 12% over a four-year period once China becomes a WTO member. At the start of WTO negotiations, China's tariffs on imported pork were as high as 43%.

“All pork producers have been fighting for is a chance to compete on an equal footing with our competitors for the Chinese market, and this vote gives us that opportunity,” Jarolimek said. “I want to commend all the members of the House who voted for PNTR for their leadership and commitment to free trade and a brighter future for all of American agriculture.”


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