12 March 1999

Pigmeat safe in EU-US row

PIG producers are likely to emerge unscathed from the impending trade war between the EU and US, even though pigmeat is one of the products on Washingtons hit list.

The row between the two trading blocks has flared up following US dissatisfaction with new EU rules on banana imports. It is claimed these do not meet a World Trade Organisation demand for the EU to improve market access for non-Caribbean suppliers.

In retaliation, the US last week said certain EU exports must now be accompanied by bonds, committing the vendor to pay 100% import duty, should the WTO rule against the EU later this month.

Pigmeat is included in the list of products, but the Meat and Livestock Commission says that the number of exemptions means the UK will be unaffected by the duty.

"Pigmeat sales to the US are minimal," said export manager Bent Windahl. "Only one abattoir in the UK has a US export licence and its products are unaffected." &#42