The Philippines is consistently a top 10 market for U.S. red meat exports and is a particularly strong destination for raw materials imported for further processing. However, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Philippines Department of Agriculture issued a new decree aimed at preventing smuggling of imported agricultural products and evasion of import tariffs.
This has created challenges for legitimate Philippine meat importers who must now re-confirm their orders, and it has raised concerns about delays and interruptions for U.S. pork and beef products entering the market, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, said this type of market access issue periodically surfaces in the Philippines, which is a large importer of red meat but also has significant domestic pork production. USMEF is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Manila, Philippines, to keep exporters informed of the situation and hopes to minimize any interruption of red meat shipments to the Philippines.