For the Week Ending July 1, 2022

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Groups Urge Administration to Weigh in on Shipping Port Labor Talks
Today, NPPC joined more than 150 agriculture and business groups in urging the Biden administration to get the two sides in labor talks on West Coast shipping operations to extend their current contract while a new agreement is finalized. The contract between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents port operators, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents dock workers, expires July 1. In a letter to President Biden, the groups also suggested the administration work with the PMA and ILWU to get them to remain at the negotiating table, negotiate in good faith until a new contract is reached and agree not to engage in any activity, such as a strike or lockout, that disrupts port operations. The agriculture and business organizations want to avoid disruptions such as those that occurred in late 2014 into early 2015 at West Coast ports. Work slowdowns then cost the U.S. meat industry millions of dollars in lost export sales. (Read the letter here)

Bills on China, 2023 Fiscal Spending Face Uncertain Future
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) this week said Republicans won’t vote in favor of the so-called China bill if Democrats insist on moving a massive tax and spending bill for fiscal 2023. The Senate and House are working to reconcile differences in legislation that would position the United States to better compete against China. Both bills include $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor manufacturers and $45 billion to address supply chain issues. The House measure also would make it easier to restrict imports, which NPPC opposes because pork often is used by trading partners to retaliate against U.S. import restrictions. McConnell threatened to derail the China bill because Senate Democrats also want to vote on a tax and spending bill that, while presumably smaller in scope, would be along the lines of the House-approved $2.2 trillion “Build Back Better” funding bill and would be achieved through the budget reconciliation process. Senate Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) object to many provisions of the House bill. NPPC opposes several of the bill’s tax changes, such as a 15% corporate alternative minimum tax, expansion of the net investment income tax, limitations on the treatment of losses for non-corporate taxpayers, and new surcharges on high-income earners and trusts.

New Report on Antibiotics Use in Food Animal Production Released
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Thursday issued a report on “Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Animal Agriculture in the United States.” It includes data on medically important antimicrobial sales, use, and resistance for cattle, chickens, swine, and turkeys for 2016-2019. The report found that food-animal producers reduced their purchases of such antibiotics by 26% over the four-year period. Sales of non-medically important antimicrobials dropped by 7%. For the hog industry, sales of medically important antimicrobials fell by 17.6% from 2016 to 2019. (Read the report here)

Watch Experts Discuss Efforts to Combat African Swine Fever
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has launched a new outreach and awareness campaign called “Protect Our Pigs” to support commercial pork producers, veterinarians, and pig owners in the fight against African swine fever (ASF). Dr. Jack Shere, APHIS associate administrator, moderated an event with hog producer Peter Thome, with Thome Family Farms; Jamee Eggers with the Iowa Pork Producers Association; and NPPC’s Dr. Anna Forseth, director of animal health. The panel discussion included the latest on ASF, what’s being done to keep the disease out of the country, and preventative and protective measures that can be put in place to mitigate risk. The virtual event, African Swine Fever: What You Need to Know, can be viewed here.