WASHINGTON – After the government of India recently approved import of US pork and pork products, American officials released details of a new trade agreement. 

The update comes after the US-India Trade Policy Forum held in New Delhi in November 2021. United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai expressed the importance of access for US pork with Indian Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal.

“India’s agreement to allow US pork imports for the first time is great news for US producers and for Indian consumers,” said Ambassador Tai. “We will continue working to strengthen the US-India trade relationship and I appreciate Minister Goyal’s efforts to facilitate this important development.”

During the fiscal year 2021, the US exported more than $1.6 billion worth of agricultural products to India. The US is the world’s third-largest pork producer and second-largest exporter, according to the USTR office. 

“This new opportunity marks the culmination of nearly two decades of work to gain market access for US pork to India – and it signals positive movement in US-India trade relations,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We will continue working with the Indian government to ensure that the US pork industry can begin shipping its high-quality products to consumers as soon as possible.”

Industry leaders responded positively to the opportunity to access the world’s second-largest populous nation. 

“USMEF greatly appreciates the efforts of USTR and USDA to secure access to India for US pork,” said Dan Halstrom, president and chief executive officer of the US Meat Export Federation. “This breakthrough comes after lengthy negotiations, and we thank both agencies for their steadfast work on this issue.”

The trade association added that its international staff conducted market research in India during recent years and industry contacts developed at that time are excited about US pork.

“While the volumes of imported pork currently entering India are quite small, USMEF sees long-term potential in the retail, processing and foodservice sectors, as well as emerging opportunities in e-commerce,” Halstrom said.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) expressed the importance of the new market for its members. 

“After decades of work, a market that had been closed to US pork is being opened,” said Jen Sorenson president of the NPPC. “NPPC thanks the Biden administration for reaching an agreement with India on market access for our products. We look forward to the new access, which will allow us to provide affordable, wholesome and nutritious US pork products to consumers in India.”