I'm pleased to say that on the heels of the recent announcement by Russia to accept U.S. pork imports, China also has now agreed to lift trade bans on U.S. pork and pork products.
Since the outbreak of the H1N1 human flu virus, many media outlets and foreign governments have ignored sound science, and instead, based news stories and trade decisions on false information about the safety of pork. These irresponsible decisions have caused a serious backlash for U.S. and Texas pork producers, costing them an estimated $2.2 billion in lost sales since the virus surfaced.
Prior to the outbreak, China imports of U.S. pork were valued at almost $275 million in 2008. The reopening of this market provides Texas pork producers, who marketed nearly 1.7 million hogs in 2008, an excellent trade opportunity. I look forward to enhanced trade relations with China and support on-going efforts to open additional markets for Texas agricultural products.