DENVER — Regarding the United States’ and Russia’s recent agreement to changes in the protocol governing trade of poultry, beef and pork, the biggest gain for U.S. meat exporters is a near doubling of the country-specific tariff rate quota for U.S. pork.

Prior to this agreement, the quota had been 50,300 metric tons (110.9 million lbs) per year, but has now been increased to 100,000 mt (220.5 million lbs) for 2009. The trade protocol between the two countries has been in place since 2005, and the U.S. pork quota has never exceeded 55,000 mt during that time. The previous high was 54,800 mt – about 119 million lbs – during 2006.

Russia is attempting to grow its own pork industry, according to U.S.M.E.F. Economist Erin Daley. But it simply doesn’t have enough domestic pork production at this time to meet its growing needs.

Ms. Daley added this increase in the quota will help make U.S. pork more affordable to Russia. Pork entering Russia within the quota is only subject to a 15% duty, while the tariff rate for above-quota imports is increasing from 60% to 75%. The higher quota is especially important, because of a growing presence of U.S. pork in Russia.

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