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New year means new pork markets

North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations begin again this month. The President has threatened to pull out of the agreement if he doesn’t get the deal he wants which has some farm groups worried.

The U.S. exports 27 percent of its pork. Nebraska pig farmer and president of the National Pork Board Terry O’ Neel says they play an important role producers making a profit.

“Last year our exports increased 15 percent to Mexico alone. They receive a lot of our hams for further processing along with being a close trading partner, O’Neel says.

He says Japan is also a good customer of the U.S.

“Japan is wonderful for our higher value products (like) loins and they are also a good trading partner.”

O’Neel adds even though we have these current markets it is also important to expand. Places they’ve been looking at include South America, Africa, and Vietnam.