Doors open wider for US beef, pork

by Erica Shaffer
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WASHINGTON – The United States has reached new agreements with Mexico and Peru that will allow US meat producers to export slaughter cattle to Mexico and expand markets for chilled and fresh pork in Peru. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new agreements during a meeting with producers in Des Moines on April 10.

The agreement with Mexico allows US cattle producers to export slaughter cattle to Mexico for the first time in more than a decade, according to the US Department of Agriculture. USDA and Mexico have been in negotiations since 2008. USDA Underdecretary Ed Avalos and Enrique Sanchez-Cruz with SAGARPA reached the agreement during meetings in Washington. The agreement takes effect immediately.

“Our priority at USDA is not only to open or reopen markets for our producers, but to help drive US economic growth through trade by supporting and creating American jobs on and off the farm,” Vilsack said. “Mexico is an important market for US cattle producers, with the potential to import $15 million of live US cattle per year and we expect Peru's market could generate $5 million annually in additional pork sales.”

USDA was able to reach an agreement with Peru following extensive negotiations with the country's Servicio National De Sanidad Agraria (SENASA) since 2012. The new agreement expands access for US fresh, chilled pork and pork products. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service will update the agency's export library to reflect the new export requirements for pork and pork products exports to Peru, USDA said.

Exporters and producers interested in sending slaughter cattle to Mexico can find required documents on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website or through their local Veterinary Services office.
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