U.S. signs meat trade agreement with Russia
The United States has signed an agreement with Russia allowing for specified access for American poultry, beef and pork in the Russian market.
“With the signing of this agreement, U.S. exporters of poultry, beef and pork will have a more predictable market in Russia,” said Chief U.S. Agricultural Negotiator Allen F. Johnson in a statement Wednesday.
The agreement, portions of which the Russian Federation has applied since 2004, confirms a specific quantity of each of these products at a mutually agreed tariff level. Quantities above these special measures would be subject to a higher tariff, operating in a similar manner to tariff-rate quotas.
The agreement also includes rules on the allocation and distribution of import licenses and veterinary permits, and creates a consultative mechanism for addressing trade-related matters, including sanitary issues. The consultative mechanism requires U.S. and Russian government officials to meet at least twice a year.
In addition, the agreement strengthens the U.S. and Russian commitments to work toward resolving outstanding animal health and meat safety concerns.
The agreement received strong support from many U.S. industry groups, such as the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, American Meat Institute, and U.S. Meat Export Federation.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Russia is the United States’ top export market for poultry products, which reached export levels of about $700 million in 2001. Exports have declined recently due to Russian restrictions. Russia is currently the sixth-largest U.S. market for pork and the seventh largest market for U.S. beef.