BMPA calls on Government to remove tariffs for US pork exports
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has written this week to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Truss, to seek her support in removing punitive tariffs on British pork exports to the US.
The letter explains that despite the fact that trade opportunities to the US are increasing, the 25% import duty has caused a 70% drop in British pork exports year on year.
While volumes are relatively low compared to our exports to China, they represent the highest value global market for UK pork, according to the BMPA.
As the country prepares to leave the EU and look to form new trade agreements around the world, BMPA is calling on the Government to engage with the US administration to remove these tariffs so British processing companies can capitalise on a market that is ripe for trade.
“The UK meat industry welcomes the new opportunities that leaving the EU will present and it is confident that it can compete in the global marketplace but it is equally vital that it is able to grasp these opportunities and we rely on Government to do everything in its power to make this possible.”
In the letter, BMPA chief executive Nick Allen said: “While we appreciate that these are part of a wider dispute affecting US/EU trade, we believe that the fact the UK has left the EU, along with the good progress being made in reaching a trade agreement with the US, would be a good platform for seeking relief from these tariffs for the UK.
“The effect of them on our pork exports to that market has been devastating with year on year trade falling by 70% in volume and value and this at a time when, in fact the trade opportunities to the US are increasing.
“You may be aware that due to the current situation in the US, several industries, including meat production, have been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our exporting businesses have informed us that this has resulted in increased demand for imports and that they could significantly increase their export volumes were it not for the additional 25% duty currently in place.
“The US market is vital to the UK pork sector. It is worth noting that although China accounts for some 70% of UK’s non-EU pork export tonnage and the US only 10% , looking at values paints a considerably different picture with China/HK accounting for 58% of non-EU export value and the US 23%. This is three times higher per tonne and makes this the highest value global market for UK pork exports which allows the UK fully to exploit its high quality, high welfare status.
“The UK meat industry welcomes the new opportunities that leaving the EU will present and it is confident that it can compete in the global marketplace but it is equally vital that it is able to grasp these opportunities and we rely on Government to do everything in its power to make this possible.
“Can we ask that the UK government engages with the US administration at the earliest opportunity to seek relief from these tariffs.”