For the Week Ending November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

NPPC’S ‘PORK O’ CLOCK SOMEWHERE’ CAMPAIGN ON USMCA HIGHLIGHTS NORTH AMERICAN PORK DISHES

Congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement remains the top priority for NPPC. To keep a spotlight on the importance of USMCA ratification this year, NPPC launched a new campaign on Thursday, “It’s Pork O’ Clock Somewhere.” The campaign focuses on pork and the many ways it’s enjoyed across North America. “A USMCA agreement provides much-needed market certainty for U.S. pork producers, ensuring zero-duty market access to two of our largest export markets,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a pork producer in Lillington, N.C. Last year, more than 40 percent of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. The campaign thanks lawmakers for making USMCA ratification this year a priority and highlights the history behind pork-related dishes in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The campaign received widespread media coverage, including from DTNRFD-TVKRVNWNAXNational Hog FarmerRed River Farm Network, and Farm Journal’s Pork. To view the campaign, visit here

CHINA, U.S. AGREE TO CANCEL EXISTING TRADE-RELATED TARIFFS, CHINESE GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS 

As the U.S. and China continue to work on an interim trade deal, on Thursday the Chinese commerce ministry said both countries have agreed to cancel existing tariffs in phases that were imposed during the trade war. It’s expected that a “phase one” trade deal would include the U.S. eliminating tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports. However, on Friday morning, President Trump said he has not agreed to roll back the tariffs. As already announced, “phase one” would include a pledge for China to buy $40 billion-$50 billion in U.S. agricultural products, including pork. President Trump had hoped to sign the “phase one” trade agreement in mid-November while at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile, but the summit was cancelled due to domestic unrest. Numerous venue locations have been discussed, including domestically in Iowa and Alaska, as well as London, where Trump is scheduled to attend a NATO summit from Dec. 3-4. NPPC is seeking permanent removal of all punitive tariffs on U.S. pork. With African swine fever dramatically reducing domestic production in China, the United States is well positioned to meet the country’s need for safe, nutritious and affordable pork and to manage an emerging food price inflation challenge. In doing so, U.S. pork can single handedly put a huge dent in the United States’ trade imbalance with China.  

HOUSE MEMBERS TALK USMCA WITH CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER

During Congressional recess this week, four members of the House Ways and Means Committee traveled to Ottawa to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. The lawmakers, Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) and Richard Neal (D-Mass.), said significant progress has been made in Congress, but noted several issues, including labor enforcement, remain unresolved. In a tweet, Trudeau said he had a good meeting with the lawmakers. “We talked about the jobs & opportunities…[USMCA] will create for people, and how we’ll work together to keep strengthening the long-standing relationship between Canada and the U.S.” In May, Trudeau formally introduced legislation to parliament to ratify the agreement. USMCA passage is a top priority for NPPC. We urge Congress to ratify the trade agreement before the end of the year to allow U.S. pork industry to maintain zero-duty market access to two of our largest export markets. 

USDA TO ISSUE SECOND TRANCHE OF TRADE RELIEF PAYMENTS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will proceed with its second tranche of trade relief payments to American farmers as a result of retaliatory tariffs, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed on Thursday. “We just have gotten authorization on the second tranche. We’ll be getting it ready hopefully at the end of this month or early December,” he said. In May, the agency announced it would again provide payments under the Market Facilitation Program, valued at $16 billion. As part of the trade relief payments, eligible U.S. pork producers would receive $11 per head based on inventory between April 1-May 15, 2019. Additionally, the agency would make pork purchases of $208 million to support its programs for the food insecure. The first round of payments was issued in August and Perdue indicated a third tranche may not be necessary. “We’re very hopeful that the China negotiations can come to a favorable conclusion. The numbers that we’re talking about right now would be very beneficial to our agricultural producers. We’re hopeful that trade would supplant any type of farm aid needed in 2020,” he added. NPPC is grateful to the administration for providing partial relief, as hog farmers have incurred significant losses due to lingering trade disputes. For more information on the Market Facilitation Program, visit here.  

WHAT’S AHEAD?


NPPC AT NAFB’S ‘TRADE TALK’ NEXT WEEK

NPPC is looking forward to attending the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) “Trade Talk” event next week in Kansas City, Mo. Every year, the NAFB Convention brings together broadcast professionals, ag industry leaders, and students focused on the agriculture industry. On Thursday, Nov. 14, NPPC President-Elect Howard (AV) Roth, NPPC Vice President and Counsel, Global Government Affairs Nick Giordano, NPPC Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom and NPPC Assistant Vice President Domestic Affairs & Counsel Michael Formica, along with the NPPC communications team, will be available to discuss issues of importance to U.S. pork producers, including removal of all punitive tariffs on American pork to China, quick implementation of the U.S./Japan trade deal, funding for 600 new Bureau of Customs and Border Protection agricultural inspectors and implementation of the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank. If attending, please stop by NPPC booth number 65 to talk about these and many other high priority issues to our industry.