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Pork industry urges Administration to open Jamaican market

Country imposes restrictions on U.S. pork based on "unwarranted claims" about pseudorabies virus.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) recently sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging them to work with Jamaica for greater U.S. pork market access.

"U.S. pork is exported to over 100 nations in any given year, and the U.S. typically is the world's largest exporter of pork, but the barriers in Jamaica prohibit virtually all U.S. pork," the letter explained, noting that Jamaica imposes restrictions based on unwarranted claims about the pseudorabies virus (PRV). Currently, only processed U.S. pork that has been “hermetically sealed” is permitted to be imported.

“The U.S. hog herd has been free of PRV since 2003, and there is no scientific evidence to support Jamaica's claim that the disease can be transmitted to hogs through raw pork,” NPPC said.

No other country imposes PRV-related import restrictions on U.S. pork, the letter noted.

"President [Donald] Trump has called for reciprocity in our trading relationships. We strongly agree. We find it infuriating that Jamaica, the second-largest recipient of benefits from the Caribbean Basin Initiative program, continues to stonewall the United States on this matter. We urge you to break the logjam and open the Jamaican market to U.S. pork," the NPPC letter added.

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