WASHINGTON — The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) submitted comments to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on April 22, highlighting the crucial role Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) play in enhancing supply chain resilience.

USTR published a notice on March 7 in the Federal Register seeking input to inform the development of trade and investment policy initiatives that promote supply chain resilience.

The agency claimed that past US trade and investment policy policies have led to supply chain vulnerabilities.

In its comments, NPPC said US trade and investment policy over the last several decades has been beneficial for the pork industry, agricultural sector and broader US economy.

“NPPC believes a wholesale turning away from the successful US trade policy of recent decades will cause long-term damage to economic prospects of US agricultural producers, and NPPC strongly urges USTR to rethink its approach” the trade association wrote.

Specifically, NPPC advocated for the positive impact of FTAs.

“Free trade agreements in their many forms, have provided expanded market access for US pork products and have been a key driver of returns to US pork producers, processors and other businesses associated with the sector,” NPPC said. “FTAs are an indispensable tool to enhance US agricultural competitiveness, as well as supply chain resiliency.”

Over the past four decades, agricultural exports have grown significantly, particularly to countries with which the United States has negotiated FTAs, noted NPPC.

The group pointed out that FTAs foster collaboration and cooperation among participating countries, encouraging the sharing of best practices, information and resources related to supply chain management.

“The certainty of long-term market access afforded by preferential trade agreements ultimately provides the economic incentives needed to invest in resilient, diversified supply chains by the private sector,” NPPC said.