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Historic agreement will bring U.S. pork products to India

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U.S. pork producers received great news Monday evening when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the government of India has agreed to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products into India. This historic agreement has removed a longstanding barrier to U.S. agricultural trade.

This news follows the successful revitalization of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum held in New Delhi in November 2021, during which Tai raised the importance of access for U.S. pork with Indian Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal.

“This new opportunity marks the culmination of nearly two decades of work to gain market access for U.S. pork to India — and it signals positive movement in U.S.-India trade relations,” said Vilsack. “We will continue working with the Indian government to ensure that the U.S. pork industry can begin shipping its high-quality products to consumers as soon as possible.”

India, which had a de facto ban on U.S. pork, has a population of 1.26 billion, meaning the potential market opportunity is significant. The agreement with the United States sets the stage for larger trade discussions.

“India’s agreement to allow U.S. pork imports for the first time is great news and a significant development for U.S. producers and for Indian consumers,” said Tai. 

In 2020, the United States was the world’s third-largest pork producer and second-largest exporter, with global sales of pork and pork products valued at $7.7 billion. In fiscal year 2021, the United States exported more than $1.6 billion of agricultural products to India.

“After decades of work, a market that had been closed to U.S. pork is being opened,” said National Pork Producers Council President Jen Sorenson. “NPPC thanks the Biden administration for reaching an agreement with India on market access for our products. We look forward to the new access, which will allow us to provide affordable, wholesome and nutritious U.S. pork products to consumers in India.”

More details on requirements for exporting to India are available from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library.

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