For the Week Ending January 5, 2018

January 5, 2018

KORUS RENEGOTIATION TALKS BEGIN

Renegotiation talks for the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, known as KORUS, kick off today in Washington, D.C. NPPC continues to advocate for maintaining zero-tariff treatment that exists for most U.S. pork products exported to Korea, the industry’s fifth-largest export market.

SENATORIAL APPEAL AHEAD OF FINAL NAFTA ROUND

Six Republican senators met with President Trump and Vice President Pence yesterday to advocate for preserving the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A primary discussion point was the negative impact a withdrawal would have on economic and stock market momentum. The appeal came from Sens. Roy Blunt, Mo., Cory Gardner, Colo., John Hoeven, N.D., Pat Roberts, Kan., Dan Sullivan, Alaska, and John Thune, S.D. The sixth round of NAFTA talks is set for Jan. 23 in Montreal. NPPC continues to urge the Trump administration to remain committed to NAFTA and to maintain zero-duty market access for pork exports to Canada and Mexico. A U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA would cost the U.S. pork industry $1.5 billion

CONGRESS RETURNS; SENATE WELCOMES TWO NEW MEMBERS

Congress returned to Washington this week with two new Senate members: Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Tina Smith, D-Minn. The Republican majority in the Senate now stands at 51. Among the initial priorities for the second session of the 115th Congress is passing a budget bill for fiscal 2018 before the current short-term funding bill expires Jan. 19.

 

WHAT’S AHEAD

 

STATE PORK ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETINGS ROLL ON

Throughout January and February, many state pork associations will host their annual meetings. For more on these meetings, please visit NPPC’s website here.

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARING WITH SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NOMINEE

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance will host Alex Michael Azar II at a hearing on Jan. 9, 2018. Azar is nominated for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services.

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION HEARING SET

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will host a hearing Jan. 16-17 on a detention and demurrage petition filed in December 2016 by the Coalition for Fair Port Practices. NPPC is a member of the coalition, which has asked the FMC to promulgate a new rule prohibiting terminal operators and shipping lines from charging detention, demurrage and per diem fees when circumstances – such as labor disputes – don’t allow cargo to be picked up or dropped off within contracted times. The hearing, held in Washington, D.C., is open to the public

U.S. AG CENSUS ON THE HORIZON

The 2017 Census of Agriculture recently received by American farmers and ranchers, including U.S. pork producers, is a questionnaire distributed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The questionnaire can be returned via mail or by online submission forms. All submissions are due Feb. 5, 2018.