Visiting Mexican Agriculture Minister Francisco Javier Mayorga welcomed Japan’s move to allow pork imports from a Mexican state that was hit by swine fever more than 10 years ago.
Holding a news conference Thursday at the Mexican Embassy, Mayorga said that if Japan decides to accept pork from Jalisco, it could help the Latin American country capitalize further on Japan’s preferential pork import tariff quota that was enlarged under a revised bilateral economic partnership agreement.
Jalisco is the biggest pork-producing state in Mexico, accounting for some 20 percent of the total pork production in the country in 2011. But in 2001, swine fever, or hog cholera, broke out there.
The Mexican government declared Jalisco free of the disease in 2006 and asked Japan in 2008 to accept pork exported from the state.
The Japanese government has since conducted studies on livestock diseases as well as quarantine methods used in Mexico.
It could designate the state clear of the disease by the end of the December at the earliest.
Japan, the largest importer of Mexican pork, and Mexico agreed in 2011 to expand the preferential tariff quota for Mexican pork to 90,000 tons. But actual imports, at just 41,275 tons, were far short of that year’s quota.
If Japan approves imports of Jalisco pork, “Mexico’s pork exports will gradually increase,” said an official with the Mexican Pork Exporters Association.