For the Week Ending July 8, 2022
Iowa Supreme Court Reinstates Pork Producers’ Right to Farm
In a major victory for Hawkeye pork producers, the Iowa Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision said the state may provide livestock producers immunity from nuisance lawsuits such as ones complaining about odor. The court reversed a precedent that had struck down an Iowa law granting immunity to livestock farmers and allowed neighboring landowners to sue for damages when farm operations affected their “quality of life.” Under last Thursday’s ruling in a case brought by activists against New Fashion Pork, landowners still may sue if their property is “damaged” because of a farmer’s failure to comply with a federal or state law or regulation or to use prudent and generally accepted management practices. In the majority opinion, Judge Thomas Waterman wrote that “protecting and promoting livestock production is a legitimate state interest, and granting partial immunity from nuisance suits is a proper means to that end.” Iowa is the No. 1 pork-producing state in the country, with more than 23 million hogs.
Organizations Call for McKalip to Be Approved for USTR Position
NPPC this week joined 95 agricultural businesses and organizations in urging the Senate Finance Committee to advance the nomination of Doug McKalip to be the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. President Biden in early June nominated McKalip, who currently serves as a senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on trade, national security, and animal and plant health. He joined USDA in 1994 and served as confidential assistant to the secretary of agriculture and as director of public and legislative affairs for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He also served in USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. McKalip was also the director of the White House Rural Council, during the Obama administration. In their July 7 letter to Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the agricultural groups threw their support behind McKalip, whom they said has “deep institutional regulatory and trade experience, which equips him to have an immediate impact in the position. He is eminently qualified to be a successful Chief Agricultural Negotiator in addressing the most pressing food and agriculture trade policy issues before us.” (Click here to read the letter.)
NPPC Urges USTR to Address Taiwan’s Restrictions on U.S. Pork
In comments submitted Thursday to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, NPPC asked the Biden administration to address and eliminate Taiwan’s unjustified restrictions on U.S. pork. In early June, the United States and Taiwan announced they would begin negotiations on improving their economic and trade relationship and representatives of the two countries met in late June for initial discussions on the “U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade.” The initiative will focus on facilitating more agricultural trade and trade by small and medium enterprises; advocating for sound, transparent trade regulations; establishing anti-corruption standards; supporting the environment and climate action; and addressing “non-market” policies and practices that could be hindering trade. NPPC pointed out in its comments that Taiwan has several non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork, including a ban on the use of the feed additive ractopamine and a country-of-origin labeling scheme.
NPPC Fall Legislative Fly-in Set for September
NPPC’s fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, DC, will take place Sept. 14-15. The biannual fly-in draws more than 100 producers from around the country to meet with their members of Congress to discuss various issues of importance to the U.S. pork industry. The event will include for the first time since 2019 the Capitol Hill-famous “BaconFest.” Pork producers interested in attending should contact NPPC — 515-278-8012 — or their state pork association.