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The United States announced on Monday that India would allow imports of US pork and pork products for the first time, welcoming the removal of an old block on US farm trade.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai made the announcement in a statement.

“This new opportunity marks the culmination of nearly two decades of work to gain market access for US pork to India — and it signals positive movement in US-India trade relations,” Vilsack said.

Read more: Elderly Muslim man thrashed, ‘forced to eat pork’ over accusations of selling beef in India

At the Trade Policy Forum between the United States and India held in New Delhi in November 2021, Tai spoke at the time about the importance of access to the Indian market for American pork.

“We will continue working with the Indian government to ensure that the US pork industry can begin shipping its high-quality products to consumers as soon as possible,” she said.

In 2020, the United States was the world’s third-largest pork producer and the world’s second-largest exporter, with global sales of pork and pork products valued at $7.7 billion, according to USTR data.

Last year, the United States exported more than $1.6bn worth of agricultural products to India.

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