WASHINGTON — In recognition of World Trade Month, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) highlighted the importance of international trade to US pork farmers and the nation as a whole, as exports contributed $14.5 billion to the US economy last year.

In 2022, the United States exported $7.6 billion worth of pork across 100 countries. Exports account for more than $61 in value for every hog marketed annually in the United States, NPPC said.

“US pork farmers have built a global reputation for providing domestic and foreign markets with high-quality, safe and affordable pork products,” said Lori Stevermer, NPPC’s president-elect and pork producer from Minnesota. “To grow exports and support high-paying jobs in rural communities, the United States must open new and expand existing markets through trade agreements, trade and investment framework agreements, and market access deals.”

US pork exports support over 155,000 jobs, NPPC noted.

“It is important that the United States maintain current markets but extend preferential trade agreements to smaller and lesser-developed countries,” Stevermer said. “Over the past decade, we have seen how dependent we have become to foreign markets — we export more to the 20 countries we have a free trade agreement with than to the rest of the world combined. Trade market access can make enormous impacts for American pork farmers making the US more globally competitive by boosting exports, supporting jobs, and offering nutritious and affordable pork products.”