Agreement promotes U.S. poultry, pork and beef exports to Russia
An agreement in principle was reached between Russia and the United States to increase market access in Russia for U.S.-produced poultry, pork and beef.
Chief U.S. agriculture negotiator Allen Johnsen and Maxim Medvedkov, Russia’s deputy minister of economic development and trade, agreed at a meeting in Japan on the new parameters for U.S.-produced poultry, pork and beef. The accord will need to be implemented by both countries.
The U.S. Trade Representative said the negotiations for the new accord were precipitated by the Russian government’s introduction of global import restrictions on poultry, pork and beef in April and May of this year.
The new agreement creates a new tariff-rate quota whereby the United States can export a certain amount of poultry, pork and beef at a relatively low tariff. Any quantity exported above this allocation would be subject to a higher tariff, USTR said.
According to the USTR, Russia is the largest export market for U.S. poultry and fifth and seventh markets for U.S. pork and beef. U.S. poultry exports reached about $700 million in 2001, compared to less than $400 million in 2002 because of Russia’s restrictions. Pork and beef exports have approached about $100 million in recent years.
The accord received applause from the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, American Meat Institute, and U.S. Meat Export Federation.
“It provides the working framework with which to develop the practices and protocol needed for a long-term relationship,” said Philip Seng, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, in a joint statement with leaders of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American Meat Institute.
The Bush administration hopes the agreement with Russia will open trade opportunities for other U.S. agricultural goods. “This is important for U.S. agriculture, because by solving problems related to beef, pork and poultry, you also help farmers who produce feed grains and soybeans,” Johnson said.