China has accepted a U.S. proposal to resume pork imports and end a nearly year-long ban that was based on misplaced H1N1 influenza concerns, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Pork trade will resume immediately once both sides finalize the export documentation, the service reported in a press release.
“This agreement is a win for America’s pork producers, whose safe and high-quality exports can now flow freely into China and support agriculture jobs here at home,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in the press release. “I am also pleased that China affirmed in our meetings that they will base their decisions on international science-based guidelines. We look forward to working cooperatively to resolve additional issues, including a resumption of trade in beef.”
China barred imports of U.S. pork from 49 states last year after the worldwide H1N1 outbreak, Business Week reported. In 2008, before the ban took effect, China was the United States’ seventh largest market valued at valued at nearly $275M, accounting for six percent of U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports, according to USDA data.