Pork exports are proving to be a key to the health of the American food industry, according to a new report from the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Overseas sales of swine, pork and pork products have increased three times in volume and 2.5 times in value since 1993, with the US now exporting more than 700 tonnes of pork worldwide, valued at over US$1.5bn.

This growth has exceeded rates for exports of other meats and is, says the report, “directly attributable to new and expanded market access through recent trade agreements,” notably the NAFTA deal with Canada and Mexico, where US pork imports have grown by 230% since 1994.