For the Week Ending January 29, 2010

January 31, 2010

Washington, D.C., January 29, 2010 

NPPC MEETS WITH CHINESE ON TRADE ISSUES

NPPC Vice President and Counsel for International Affairs Nick Giordano this week was in China meeting with U.S. and Chinese government officials and private-sector representatives on a host of trade-related issues. Among the topics of discussion were China’s continued ban on U.S. pork imports because of the H1N1 flu and its refusal to take pork from pigs given ractopamine, a feed additive widely used in U.S. pork production to promote leaner meat. China in December announced that it would lift its H1N1-related ban on U.S. pork, but it has not yet begun accepting imports. On the ractopamine issue, the U.N. food-safety body this summer is expected to set a maximum residue level for the product, which was approved in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration and is accepted by 25 other countries.

PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCES NATIONAL EXPORT INITIATIVE

President Obama in his State of the Union address Wednesday night vowed to create 2 million jobs in America by doubling U.S. exports over the next five years while also creating a “national export initiative” to help farmers and small businesses increase the goods they sell to overseas markets. The president spoke briefly about pending free trade agreements, saying he wanted closer trade ties with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. All three countries have signed trade agreements with the U.S., but the pacts have been stalled in Congress since 2007. NPPC is continuing to urge lawmakers to promptly approve the FTAs, which combined would add more than $11 – Colombia is worth $1.15, Panama 20 cents and South Korea about $10 – to the price producers receive for each hog marketed. NPPC spends a significant amount of time engaging with U.S. trading partners to maintain and increase current market access. The U.S. pork industry is the No. 1 exporter of pork products in the world.

2010 NATIONAL PORK PRODUCERS DELEGATE BODY NAMED

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced the appointment of 154 pork producers and six importers to the 2010 National Pork Producers Delegate Body. The delegates, selected from nominations submitted by state pork producer associations and importer groups, meet annually to recommend the rate of assessment, determine the percentage of assessments that state associations will receive and nominate producers and importers to the 15-member National Pork Board. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the delegate body, which will be seated during the National Pork Forum – the annual business meeting of the U.S. pork industry – in Kansas City, Mo., March 4-7. To view USDA’s press release and a full list of appointees, click the following link: 2010 Delegate Body.

OBAMA APPOINTS UNDERSECRETARY FOR FOOD SAFETY AT USDA

NPPC this week applauded President Obama for his nomination of Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Hagen currently is USDA’s chief medical officer, working on human health issues, and previously served as a senior executive at the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which oversees meat, poultry and eggs. Hagen played a key role in developing and executing the FSIS scientific and public health agendas. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and St. Joseph’s University, Hagen taught and practiced medicine in the private and academic sectors. She completed specialty medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Pennsylvania and is a board certified expert in infectious diseases.

USDA’S FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE AGENCY NAMES APPOINTEES

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wednesday named three appointments to fill key positions within the agency. Darci L. Vetter has been named deputy undersecretary for the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service. Vetter served as director of agricultural affairs for the Office of the U.S Trade Representative and on the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance as an international trade adviser before her appointment to the FSA. John Brewer, who has been tapped as administrator of FAS, previously worked for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton as an associate on the global security/threat finance team. Janet Nuzum will join the FAS as associate administrator. Nuzum has served as a senior policy adviser to former Rep. Cal Dooley, D-Calif., and as a staff member for the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means and Subcommittee on Trade.
WHAT’S AHEAD
NPPC, NATIONAL PORK BOARD ANNUAL FORUM MARCH 4-6

NPPC and the National Pork Board will hold their 2010 annual meetings March 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo. For more information on the meeting, call (515) 278-8012. Media inquiries should be directed to Dave Warner at (202) 347-3600; for media registration, visit 2010 National Pork Forum.

 

NPPC WORLD PORK EXPO JUNE 9-11

NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo will be held June 9-11 at the Iowa State fairgrounds in Des Moines. Follow @NPPCWPX on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NPPCWPX for coming announcements and updates on the largest pork-industry trade show and exhibition in the world.