(Reuters) - U.S. government and industry officials worked to convince counterparts abroad to end bans on pork trade in the wake of a global outbreak of a new strain of flu.
The scare prompted some governments to restrict imports of U.S. pigs and pork, reducing U.S. exports by as much as 12 percent.
The virus is spread from person to person and has never been found in livestock. Consumers cannot contract the virus by eating pork.
Officials this week began to call the new virus Influenza A (H1N1) instead of swine flu.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke wrote to top government officials in Russia and China to urge them to end the bans, and said he raised the issue in person with China’s ambassador.
“Government actions during this time of economic uncertainty and international concern about influenza must be based on scientific evidence,” Locke wrote.
Bolivia, Costa Rica and Guatemala reversed earlier announcements of bans, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said, but the Russian and Chinese bans continued to disrupt trade.
Here is a list of current U.S. export restrictions:
* Russia - all raw meat (including beef and poultry) from California, Texas, New York; all pork from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and Florida
* China - pork and swine from California, Texas, Kansas, New York, Ohio
* South Korea - live swine, but not pork
* Kazakhstan - pork from Texas, California, Kansas
* Ukraine - swine, all pork and all products including pet food
* Serbia - raw pork and swine
* Croatia - pork and swine
* Thailand - pork, swine, swine genetics, hides and skins
* United Arab Emirates - all pork
* Indonesia - all pork
* Saint Lucia - pork, swine and pig semen
* Ecuador - all pork
SOURCES: U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Agriculture Department.