Chile ends ‘safeguard’ exam on pork imports

Chile ends ‘safeguard’ exam on pork imports

Posted Oct. 22, 2013

No action to be taken to limit imports of U.S. pork
In a big victory for America’s pork producers, Chile has determined that no action should be taken to limit pork imports, including those from the United States, after concluding an investigation on whether they were harming domestic pork producers.

The South American country initiated a “safeguard” investigation in May on all imported frozen pork, including imports from the United States. Under international trade rules, safeguard measures are temporary emergency actions — such as duty increases — against imported products that have caused or threaten to cause serious injury to the importing country’s domestic industry. The Chilean Pork Producers Association alleged that pork imports caused losses to its producers and called for a 14.3 percent additional duty on imported pork.

The National Pork Producers Council claimed the charges of harm were unfounded and pleaded the U.S. pork industry’s case against safeguard measures. It pointed out that while U.S. pork exports to Chile have grown over the past eight years, they remain small and stable in relation to pork consumption and production in that country. In fact, although Chilean pork producers continue to account for more than 95 percent of domestic consumption, they also have significantly increased their sales in export markets.

After a 90-day investigation to determine whether safeguard measures should be imposed and at what rate, a Chilean commission decided such measures weren’t warranted.

“America’s pork producers are pleased that Chile has found that U.S. pork exports to that country are not harming Chilean pork producers,” said NPPC President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. “NPPC believed that the charges of harm were unsupported and led the defense of the U.S. pork industry against any safeguard action.”

Chile has become an important market for U.S. pork since the implementation of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement in 2005. Last year, Chile was the 12th most valuable export destination for U.S. pork products, totaling almost 17,000 metric tons valued at more than $42 million.