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Trade Policy Issues

Trade Issues

The U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) is the only organization that specifically focuses on the issues and concerns of the U.S. hide and skin industry.  USHSLA believes in free trade and is a strong supporter of the WTO process and free trade agreements negotiated by the United States with its trading partners.

Ninety six percent of the world's population resides outside of the United States and similarly, most of the world's users of U.S. hides are located overseas.  The United States is one of the world's largest exporter of hides, so trade is critical to the prosperity of the U.S. industry.  It is for this reason that it is essential that U.S. hides and skins exporters continue to gain access to foreign markets.  New and expanded market access through trade agreements is the most important catalyst for increased hide exports.

The export value for U.S. hides and skins is nearly $3 billion dollars. China/Hong Kong accounts for over 50 percent of U.S. exports of these products.

Ninety-nine percent of all U.S. bovine hide and wet blue exports go to seven countries (China/Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Vietnam, Mexico and Japan).

Despite the large volume of trade, the industry does experience trade irritants from time to time.  Whenever hide exporters experience difficulties in clearing shipments through customs or encounter requests for changes to export certificate requirements, USHSLA members should notify the USHSLA as soon as possible.  USHSLA will work with the relevant US government agencies to address the problem.

Transportation Issues

US hides and skins suppliers, as agricultural commodity exporters, experience unique problems related to shipping that are also experienced by many commodity exporters. Therefore, USHSLA and its member companies are active participants in the Agricultural Transportation Coalition (AgTC), a group dedicated to addressing the specific needs of the U.S. agricultural community as it relates to international shipping. USHSLA encourages its member companies to consider joining the AgTC for the most up to date information on this issue.

To access an application for membership to the AgTC, please click on this link: 

Health Certificates

U.S. exporters wishing to obtain hides and skins health certificates for specific markets should consult the USDA APHIS Import & Export website by country or market:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/

USHSLA prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Association.
If you believe you have experienced discrimination when obtaining services from USHSLA while participating in program that receives financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you may file a complaint with USDA by following this link: https://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint-resolution.