For the Week Ending October 19, 2018

October 19, 2018

USDA TEMPORARILY HALTS PORK IMPORTS FROM POLAND

NPPC supports yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to temporarily stop shipments to the United States of pork from Poland. The USDA has suspended entry of imports of fresh and frozen pork and pork products from Poland while it completes a review of that country’s export protocols. According to the USDA, “As part of a routine review of ongoing operations, it came to our attention that one Polish facility exporting pork to the U.S. has done so in contravention of the stringent requirements in place to prevent the spread of serious diseases of livestock, like ASF.” USDA’s action was taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that the United States remains free of African Swine Fever (ASF), a highly contagious, trade-limiting pig disease with no cure. USDA has been closely monitoring ASF’s spread in Eastern Europe – parts of Poland have the disease – and in Asia. The disease underscores the need for the United States to be better prepared to address foreign animal diseases, including by establishing a more robust vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), another trade-limiting disease endemic in many parts of the world. NPPC supports in the 2018 Farm Bill mandatory funding for an FMD vaccine bank and other disease-prevention programs.

 

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PURSUES NEW TRADE AGREEMENTS

The Trump administration this week announced that it will initiate trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. NPPC has been pushing for a free trade agreement with Japan as its top offensive trade priority. It was U.S. pork’s the largest export market by value in 2017 and is set to implement free trade agreements with the European Union and with ten other nations through the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement next year, threatening U.S. market share. NPPC is delighted the administration is demanding that the EU meaningfully include agriculture in trade talks with the United States. The EU has played the U.S. like a drum in the past. NPPC expects an aggressive posture from the administration with both the EU and the UK and will only support a deal that eliminates both tariffs and non-tariff barriers on pork in both the EU and the UK. This week’s trade news builds on positive trade momentum represented by revised trade agreements with Mexico, Canada and South Korea that preserve zero-tariff access for U.S. pork. NPPC is continues to press the Trump administration to resolve trade disputes with China and Mexico.

 

NPPC SETS SIGHTS ON OPENING INDIAN MARKET TO U.S. PORK

NPPC vice president and counsel, global government affairs, Nick Giordano, was in India last week to advance progress toward opening the world’s second most populous country to U.S. pork. Meat consumption is on the rise in India, a country with very little domestic pork production. NPPC is working closely with the administration to get agreement from India on the science-based veterinary export certificate that will end what is currently a de facto ban on U.S. pork shipments.

 

COMPREHENSIVE AND PROGRESSIVE AGREEMENT FOR TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP MOVES FORWARD

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) moved closer to ratification when Australia’s Parliament approved the 11-country trade deal this week. The pact has already been approved by Mexico, Japan and Singapore. Canada is in the process of ratifying. The CPTPP will go into effect 60 days after it has been ratified by six of the signatory nations, which include, Signatory national include Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. NPPC has been advocating strongly for free trade agreements with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam to offset market share threat to U.S. pork market share represented by the CPTPP.

 

COALITION FILES BRIEFS ON WOTUS INJUNCTION

A coalition of 15 manufacturing, energy, agriculture and business groups and organizations, including NPPC, this week submitted briefs in the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule court case in Georgia. In June, a U.S. District Court in Georgia granted a preliminary injunction against the rule for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The WOTUS rule, now blocked in 28 states, was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clarify its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act over “navigable” waters. The Obama-era regulation dramatically expanded the agency’s jurisdiction to include, among other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation. It also covered lands adjacent to such waters. The Trump EPA in January delayed the rule’s effective date until 2020 — a move applauded by NPPC – and agreed to work with stakeholders, including farmers, on a new regulation. Last month, the U.S. District Court in South Carolina overturned the delay, agreeing with environmental groups that the Trump administration did not follow the Administrative Procedures Act when suspending the rule, and reinstated the regulation for the 26 states where it hadn’t been blocked.

 

NPPC’S WAGSTROM ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL MEAT SECRETARIAT ANIMAL CARE COMMITTEE MEETING

NPPC chief veterinarian, Dr. Liz Wagstrom, this week attended the Animal Care Committee meeting of the International Meat Secretariat (IMS). IMS has observer organization status with both World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) and U.N.’s Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international food-safety standards-setting organization. Dr. Wagstrom represented U.S. pork’s priorities and positions as global standards and guidelines were discussed at the meeting. In December, IMS will be at the Codex Task Force Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance to speak to science-based meat industry needs as this very important code of practice is developed.