WASHINGTON – US exports of pork and natural swine casings to Argentina will resume after 25 years.

The US Dept. of Agriculture and the Office of the US Trade Representative announced that the government of Argentina has finalized technical requirements that will allow imports of US pork to the South American country. Argentina is a potential $10-million-per-year market for US pork producers with significant opportunities for future growth.

“This breakthrough is the result of efforts by this Administration to help America’s farmers and ranchers reach new markets and ensure fair trade practices by our international partners,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “Once the people of Argentina get a taste of American pork products after all this time, we’re sure they’ll want more of it. This is a great day for our agriculture community and an example of how the Trump Administration is committed to supporting our producers by opening new markets for their products.”

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), which gave input to address concerns raised by Argentine officials, applauded the development. NPPC urged the Office of the US Trade Representative to reinstate Argentina’s eligibility for the US Generalized System of Preferences which allows some foreign products into the US without tariffs, in return for Argentina reopening its market to US pork imports.

“Argentina has tremendous potential for US pork exports,” NPPC President Jim Heimerl said in a statement. “This is great news for America’s pork producers, who last year exported almost $6.5 billion of pork around the world.”

US Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer and Argentina’s Ministry of Agro-Industry worked toward new terms for market access “…that are practical, science-based and consistent with relevant international animal health standards,” according to the USTR. The finalized export certificate allows the US to ship fresh, frozen and processed pork to Argentina.

“I welcome Argentina’s decision to allow imports of US pork products and the economic opportunity it will afford to US pork producers,” Lighthizer said in a statement. “This effort demonstrates the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to address foreign trade barriers to American agriculture exports.”