Senator Franken Pushes for Open Markets in Pork Industry

On Monday, December 16th, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) told the top U.S. trade negotiator and the Secretary of Agriculture that a high priority in our nation's trade policy must be ending unfair foreign trade practices that prevent Minnesota pork producers from expanding exports.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Sen. Franken urged them to push hard to remove unfair tariffs and other barriers, including during negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive, multi-country trade deal.

Minnesota ranks second in the nation in the number of hogs raised and processed into meat products. Sen. Franken told the officials that Minnesota's pork industry produces billions of dollars in economic activity each year, and that exports are key to the industry's health and to jobs in the state.

"Pork production is vital to Minnesota's economy, supporting over 20,000 jobs, many of which are tied to pork exports," said Sen. Franken. "Minnesota produces the best pork in the world, but when our trading partners erect unfair barriers to prevent us from selling it in their markets, that's unacceptable. I'm urging Secretary Vilsack and Trade Representative Froman to stand up for U.S. producers and work to remove these unfair trade barriers."

Find the full letter to Secretary Vilsack and Trade Representative Michael Froman at http://www.franken.senate.gov/files/documents/131213PorkTPP.pdf

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