For the Week Ending November 30, 2018

November 30, 2018

For the Week Ending November 30, 2018

U.S., MEXICO, CANADA INK NEW TRADE DEAL

U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials today signed the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA) after a year of intense negotiations on the trade pact. NPPC is pleased with the agreement, which maintains zero-duty market access to Canada and Mexico for U.S. pork. However, the punitive 20 percent tariffs on U.S. pork exported to Mexico remain in effect. The tariffs are inflicting significant financial harm on the U.S. pork industry. The United States and Mexico continue to intensely negotiate a resolution to the metal tariffs, and NPPC is hopeful that the matter will soon be resolved.  Also this week, NPPC’s Maria Zieba, director of international affairs, spoke on a panel hosted by the Atlantic Council where she expressed NPPC’s strong support for the USMCA as well as underscored the need for an expeditious resolution to the metal tariff issue with our North American trading partners.

 

NPPC SUBMITS COMMENTS ON JAPAN-U.S. FTA

NPPC this week submitted comments in response to a U.S. Trade Representative request for comments on negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement, urging the Trump administration to expeditiously complete negotiations with Japan.  Failure to complete trade negotiations early next year with Japan will result in a major loss of U.S. pork sales to the Asian nation, the U.S. pork industry’s No. 1 export market.  The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will come into force next month and a new trade agreement with the EU likely will come into force next year. The U.S. pork industry will lose significant market share in Japan unless the United States moves quickly to put the U.S. pork industry on a level playing field with other pork suppliers to the Japanese market.

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT XI JINPING OF CHINA

President Trump this weekend will host a dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina as both leaders attend the G20 Leaders Summit. Pork producers are hopeful that the United States and China will soon resolve their differences on trade. U.S. pork producers are on China’s metal and 301 retaliation lists, facing cumulative tariffs of 62 percent on exports to China, a market that represented 17 percent of total U.S. exports by value in 2017. The tariffs are taking a severe financial toll on the U.S. pork industry.

 

FARM BILL AGREEMENT REACHED ‘IN PRINCIPLE’

The principals of a Senate-House conference committee working out differences in competing Farm Bills – Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn. – on Thursday announced an agreement in principle on a new five-year agricultural blueprint. Details of the 2018 Farm Bill now must be finalized and the legislation “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office to make sure it meets fiscal constraints. The announcement comes after months of debate during which NPPC asked that the next Farm Bill include language establishing and funding a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank, as well as money for the national network of disease diagnostic laboratories and for animal disease prevention and preparedness efforts. The conference committee’s Farm Bill now must be approved by the Senate and the House.

 

VADEN CONFIRMED; ADDITIONAL NOMINATIONS MOVE FORWARD

The U.S. Senate this week confirmed Stephen Vaden to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief counsel on a 53-46 vote. Vaden, who has been at USDA since President Trump’s inauguration, grew up on a family farm in west Tennessee before coming to Washington to work at two of D.C.’s biggest law firms. NPPC applauds the confirmation and urged the Senate to quickly confirm other USDA nominees, including Dr. Mindy Brashears for undersecretary for food safety; Scott Hutchins for undersecretary for research, education and economics and chief scientist; and Naomi Earp for assistant secretary for civil rights. The nominations of Brashears, Hutchins and Earp were approved this week by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and now await confirmation by the full Senate.