The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is pleased to publish its third annual Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Report). This report was created to respond to the concerns of U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and workers who confront SPS trade barriers as they seek to export high-quality American food and agricultural products around the world. SPS measures are rules and procedures that governments use to ensure that foods and beverages are safe to consume and to protect animals and plants from pests and diseases.
Many SPS measures are fully justified, but too often governments cloak discriminatory and protectionist trade measures in the guise of ensuring human, animal, or plant safety. These SPS barriers not only harm U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, workers, and their families, they also deprive consumers around the world of access to high-quality American food and agricultural goods. USTR is committed to identifying and combating unwarranted SPS barriers to U.S. food and agricultural exports. USTR’s efforts to remove unwarranted foreign SPS barriers serve the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 through the National Export Initiative.
As discussed in this report, the United States achieved some important successes since the publication of last year’s report in dismantling SPS barriers that blocked U.S. agricultural exports. For example, U.S. negotiators removed specific SPS barriers in Japan and Korea for U.S. cherries and citrus, as well as barriers in South Africa and Sri Lanka for apples and seed potatoes. The United States also worked with Kuwait and Taiwan to lift unwarranted restrictions on U.S. exports of poultry and poultry products, and the United States negotiated for full market access for U.S. beef to the United Arab Emirates.
In 2012, USTR will continue to work with colleagues from across the U.S. Government, as well as interested stakeholders, to encourage governments around the world to remove their unwarranted SPS rules. As always, we will engage in all available bilateral, regional, and multilateral fora in our efforts to dismantle these barriers to U.S. food and agricultural exports and strengthen the rules-based trading system to ensure a level playing field abroad for U.S. ranch and farm products. We look forward to making further progress on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and workers, as well as families who depend on export-supported American jobs.