For the Week Ending August 4, 2017
August 4, 2017
U.S. PORK LEADERS ACTIVE AT MINNESOTA FARMFEST
NPPC board member Jim Compart, Compart Family Farms, and Jay Moore, president of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, advocated on behalf of the U.S. pork industry’s policy interests at FarmFest in Redwood Falls, Minn., this week. Compart participated in the FarmFest’s Ag Policy Roundtable and addressed a variety of key issues, including the NAFTA renegotiation and other trade topics and the importance of federal funding for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank through the 2018 Farm Bill. “We’re vulnerable and it’s something that everyone in agriculture needs to get behind,” he said. Moore was a witness at the Farm Bill listening session, Conversations in the Field, hosted by the House Agriculture Committee. In his remarks to 11 members of the committee, Moore said, “We are all connected to agriculture and need to protect it.”
GOOD NEWS ON WEST COAST PORT LABOR NEGOTIATIONS
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) this week announced it expects a three-year contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to pass with a 67 percent approval vote from its members. This is positive news for the U.S. economy and pork industry as the agreement eliminates the possibility of any near-term disruption of West Coast port service. In 2015, a nine-month labor dispute at ports from Seattle to San Diego slowed the flow of U.S. exports. As a member of the Ag Transportation Coalition and of the Ports Coalition, NPPC continues to work for port accessibility and continuity of service.
TRADE DISAGREEMENTS MOUNT BETWEEN U.S. AND CHINA
President Trump is expected to soon issue a memorandum on China’s intellectual property and trade practices. The memo would prompt an investigation by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative into these trade practices and could result in retaliation from China. According to reports, China has readied a retaliatory response that includes measures against sectors of U.S. agriculture. NPPC continues to urge the administration to maintain and expand export opportunities that are critical for the U.S. pork industry.
AGRICULTURE COALITION URGES TRUMP TO INCLUDE RURAL REPRESENTATIVES ON INFRASTRUCTURE COUNCIL
In a letter sent today to President Trump, the Rebuild Rural Coalition, which includes 200 organizations – including NPPC – offered its support for the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure and asked that it include representatives with specific experience and expertise in rural infrastructure. The council has been charged with studying and making recommendations on needed infrastructure projects in several sectors, including surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resources, renewable energy generation, electricity transmission and broadband. “Our nation’s rural towns, cities and counties face unique challenges, and the Coalition strongly believes the Council will benefit from a diverse perspective,” wrote the coalition, whose organizations represent rural communities, U.S. agricultural producers, rural businesses and rural families.
FORMER NPPC PRESIDENT ON TRADE PANEL
Randy Spronk, former NPPC president, will be a panelist at the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. The Aug. 5 panel on manufacturing and trade also includes Fred Gorrell, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada assistant deputy minister; Mark Core, vice president of Marketing and Lifecycle Management of Vermeer; and Jim Field, president of John Deere’s Agriculture and Turf Division.
NAFTA RENEGOTIATIONS TO BEGIN
Led by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the NAFTA renegotiation between the United States, Canada and Mexico opens on Aug. 16 in Washington, D.C. John Melle, the assistant U.S. trade representative, will serve as the chief negotiator.
IOWA STATE FAIR KICKS OFF
The Iowa State Fair begins next Thursday and runs through Sunday, Aug. 20. The Iowa Pork Producers Association will be in attendance running both the Iowa Pork Tent and farrowing displays. NPPC staff members are assisting throughout the week.
NPPC HOSTS FALL LAC
NPPC will host its fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13-14. This biannual fly-in draws from around the country about 125 pork producers.