A new study by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which lists the major trade barriers imposed on processed foods by a variety of countries, "highlights the need to reduce these barriers to free international trade," according to the National Food Processors Association (NFPA).

"NFPA has long made the case that the World Trade Organization needs to address the issue of both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in food products," said Peggy Rochette, NFPA's Senior Director of International Policy.  The report concludes that "tariff barriers... can reduce the competitiveness of U.S. exports in foreign markets," but "in many cases, non-tariff measures and concerns are more important than tariffs."

The study - titled "Processed Foods and Beverages:  A Description of Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers for Major Products and Their Impact on Trade" - provides a country-by-country listing of the major trade barriers on foods and beverages.  NFPA played a key role in providing testimony and data substantiating the market access barriers experienced by member companies.

"The WTO will meet next month to examine agricultural trade issues, so this study is particularly timely," Rochette noted.  "This information will provide guidance to U.S. trade negotiators and the Administration to help eliminate  the trade barriers encountered by food companies around the world, thus facilitating global trade and building markets for U.S. food products. NFPA is optimistic that this document will be an important tool towards resolution of some of those concerns."

NFPA is the voice of the $500 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs. 

For more information on this issue, contact Timothy Willard, NFPA's Vice President of Communications, at (202) 637-8060, or visit NFPA's Website at www.nfpa-food.org.