For the Week Ending September 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

NPPC HERALDS SIGNING OF U.S., JAPAN TRADE AGREEMENT
NPPC representatives attended the signing ceremony this week in New York of a trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan that will once again allow U.S. pork producers to compete on a level playing field. NPPC President David Herring and President-Elect Howard “A.V.” Roth joined President Trump for the signing of the agreement during the United Nations General Assembly meeting. “I am honored to represent U.S. pork producers today at a signing ceremony so important to my fellow hog farmers around the country,” said Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina. “Once implemented, the agreement signed puts U.S. pork back on a level playing field with our competitors in Japan,” he said. At the event with President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe, Herring said, “Thank you and thank Prime Minister Abe for this agreement. And it gives so much opportunity to our 60,000 pork producers across this great country.” In an exchange with President Trump, Herring also highlighted the need for China to remove its retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. pork, especially as that country battles African swine fever. President Trump responded that “China is going to buy more pork than they’ve ever bought by far.  I mean, they told me the numbers are going to be incredible.  And they’re coming to you.” Video of the exchange is here (around the 14-minute mark) and NPPC’s full press release is here.


IOWA PORK PRODUCER OUTLINES INDUSTRY CHALLENGES TO CONGRESS
On Wednesday, Iowa Pork Producers President Trent Thiele, on behalf of NPPC, testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee about challenges facing the U.S. pork industry. Producers need trade certainty and ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement is one the industry’s top priorities, he told lawmakers. “USMCA will strengthen the strong economic ties with our North American neighbors and help ensure tariff-free trade on pork remains in place for the long term…. U.S. pork producers urge Congress to ratify USMCA, providing much-needed certainty in two of our largest export markets.” In his remarks, Thiele also discussed the need to end the trade dispute with China, highlighted how pork producers are working to prevent the spread of foreign animal diseases, and outlined the need to address visa reform to fix a serious labor shortage. To view a copy of NPPC’s press release on Thiele’s testimony, click here.


U.S. PORK INDUSTRY SEEKS EXPANDED MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
In remarks at a Global Business Dialogue event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, NPPC Director of International Affairs Maria Zieba highlighted the importance of trade and exports to U.S. pork producers. The U.S. pork industry ships more product to the 20 countries covered by free-trade agreements than we do the rest of the world combined, she noted. NPPC was pleased when the U.S. and Japan signed a trade deal this week, but there are several other trade-related priorities that await action. One of NPPC’s most pressing priorities is rapid congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement, securing long-term zero-duty access to two of its largest export markets, Zieba explained. Last year, more than 40 percent of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. USMCA will strengthen the strong economic ties with our North American neighbors and ensure tariff-free trade with the two countries, Zieba said. Other trade priorities include removing the retaliatory tariffs that China has placed on U.S. pork and expanding export markets in Jamaica, the Philippines, Thailand and numerous other countries. Read the full release here


HOUSE BILL INTRODUCED FOR ADDITIONAL AG INSPECTORS
On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Vincente Gonsalez (D-Texas), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) introduced the Protecting America’s Food & Agricultural Act (H.R. 4482), which would authorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire more agriculture inspectors in order to prevent an outbreak of African swine fever in the U.S. The bill is a companion to Senate legislation introduced in July by Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). NPPC has been advocating for an increase in agriculture inspectors and included the request for 600 additional agriculture inspectors in its recent Fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C.


EXERCISE-EXERCISE-EXERCISE: USDA RUNS NATIONAL ASF DRILL
The USDA hosted a four-day African swine fever (ASF) exercise this week with state animal health officials, producers and other industry stakeholders. The drill simulated various outbreak scenarios as participants worked through response protocols spanning disease investigations, a confirmed outbreak, depopulation and disposal, control zones and permitting processes. NPPC Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom and Assistant Vice President of Communications Jim Monroe participated in the drill. NPPC continues to work closely with USDA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on ASF prevention and has called on Congress to appropriate funding for 600 new CBP agricultural inspectors.


FDA RELEASES GUIDANCE ON MEDICALLY IMPORTANT ANTIBIOTICS UNDER VETERINARY OVERSIGHT
FDA released a guidance this week detailing plans on moving all medically important antibiotics under veterinary oversight. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, all medically important antibiotics delivered in feed and water were moved to either VFD status (feed) and prescription (water). The current guidance will impact the marketing status of injectable antibiotics, moving the remaining over-the-counter ones to prescription status. NPPC supports this effort and will work with producers to keep them informed on the issue as it moves forward.