The U.S. and Argentina finalized an export certificate allowing the American pork industry to ship products to the South American country. The National Pork Producers strongly supported and gave extensive input into the move. NPPC President Jim Heimerl says Argentina has tremendous potential for U.S. pork exports. “This is great news for American pork producers,” he says, “who last year exported almost $6.5 billion worth of pork around the world.” Argentina, which has a de facto ban on U.S. pork, has a population of more than 44 million and a per capita income of over $17,000 a year, which is higher than Mexico’s. That makes Argentina an attractive market for U.S. pork. Iowa State University economist Dermont Hayes says per capita pork consumption has increased from 2 pounds in 2005 to 26 pounds this year. The Argentinian pork industry estimates that number will fall between 35 and 44 pounds by 2020. The new opening in the Argentinian market represents the first time in 25 years that U.S. pork will be allowed into the country, which has the potential to be a $10 million-a-year market.