Capital Update – For the Week Ending October 28, 2022

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NPPC to Provide Comments for USTR’s NTE Report

Background: Each year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) welcomes comments to aid in identifying barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign-direct investment and U.S. electronic commerce for inclusion in the National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report.

Why is this important? This NTE Report facilitates U.S. negotiations to reduce or eliminate trade barriers. It is a valuable tool in enforcing U.S. trade laws and agreements. Additionally, it strengthens the rule-based trading system that ensures that all stakeholders know the rules to allow trade to move freely and as predictably as possible.

Our take: The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) submitted comments on NTE Report topics as they relate to important policies, technical barriers to trade and animal health and food safety measures. We exported over $8.1 billion in pork and pork products to over 100 countries in 2021. It is vital to the success of our industry that we continue to work on the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

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NPPC Joins Letter Urging the Biden Administration to Continue to Work with the Railroad Unions on Contract Negotiations

Recap: NPPC along with 321 local, state and federal trade associations signed onto a coalition letter urging President Biden and key administration officials to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a new rail deal before the status quo ends mid-November. 

What is the latest? The threat of a nationwide rail strike continues as the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) voted against a contract deal on Oct. 10. This coincides with the suspension of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union-Pacific Maritime Association labor talks that have been ongoing since May. So far, cargo out of the West Coast ports has continued to move and has not been affected during these negations. 

Resources: Read the letter urging contracts to be ratified, aimed to provide stability and predictability back into the U.S. supply chain. 

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USTR Decides Not to Open a Section 301 Investigation on Imports From Mexico 

Recap: USTR rejected a petition by a group of members of Congress requesting a Section 301 investigation on fresh produce imports from Mexico. This comes on the heals after over 20 agricultural and industry associations, including NPPC, sent a letter on Oct. 5 urging USTR to reject the petition. United States Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Patty Murray (D-Washington), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kansas) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) also submitted a separate letter expressing their concerns. 

What is the latest? While USTR announced it is not opening a Section 301 investigation this week, they will move forward with an advisory panel to examine issues raised in the petition. 

What does this mean? While the petition did not directly impact pork exports to Mexico, the prospect of a Section 301 investigation did raise concerns about potential retaliation. 

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Celebrating Porktober

As October is National Pork Month, what better time than now to dive into your favorite pork products and learn about the significant economic contributions our industry has on local communities and those across the globe.

Educational Opportunities:

Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, which is sponsored by CME Group and National Pork Industry Foundation (NPIF) and managed and administered by NPPC. Ten $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students who plan to pursue a career in the pork industry and exhibit characteristics representative of future pork industry leaders. All entries must be submitted by Jan. 3, 2023 to be considered.

Neil Dierks Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Neil Dierks Scholarship, which is sponsored by the NPIF and is managed and administered by NPPC. One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student seeking a graduate degree in a field related to the pork industry at a land grant university. Submissions are due by Jan. 3, 2023.