For the Week Ending June 8, 2018
U.S. SENATE RELEASES FARM BILL LANGUAGE
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry this week released its version of the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes language establishing a vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). Currently, the United States does not have access to enough FMD vaccine to handle more than a small, localized outbreak. According to Iowa State University economists, an FMD outbreak in the United States, which would prompt countries to close their markets to U.S. meat exports, would cost the beef and pork industries a combined $128 billion over 10 years if farmers weren’t able to combat the disease through vaccination. The committee is expected to mark up the bill June 13, while the full House is expected to vote on its version of the bill, which also includes FMD language, June 22. NPPC continues to urge lawmakers to provide funding of $150 million for the vaccine bank, $70 million for state block grants and $30 million for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) for each of the five years of the Farm Bill.
WORLD PORK EXPO CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF INNOVATION, EDUCATION, NETWORKING
More than 20,000 U.S. pork producers and other pork enthusiasts, including more than 1,000 guests from locations outside the United States, gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, this week for NPPC’s 30th annual World Pork Expo. NPPC President Jim Heimerl, President-Elect David Herring and Vice President AV Roth opened the world’s largest pork-specific trade show and exhibition with a press briefing, addressing the U.S. pork industry’s policy priorities, including international trade, visa reform and federal funding for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank. Two senior Trump administration officials, Ambassador Gregg Doud, chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, addressed NPPC investors during the event. Following his remarks, Ambassador Doud sat down for this interview with Farm Journal Media’s Betsy Jibben in which he expressed the importance of going on the offense to open new export markets. More than 500 pork industry suppliers from North America, Europe and Asia were showcased at the event, which featured the largest exhibition space to date. The 31st annual World Pork Expo will be held in Des Moines, June 5-7, 2019.
PORK AT ‘TIP OF THE SPEAR’ FROM RETALIATORY TRADE ACTIONS; NPPC ADDRESSES CONCERNS
Ahead of this week’s World Pork Expo, Mexico on Tuesday imposed a 10 percent tariff on U.S. pork; the duty will rise to 20 percent on July 5. The move was in response to U.S. tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum imports. Mexico’s tariffs followed the imposition by China of an additional 25 percent on U.S. pork in early April. Not surprisingly, trade was the topic of the week for the more than 100 media registered for World Pork Exo. NPPC President Jim Heimerl opened Wednesday’s press briefing, saying, “We appreciate the many trade issues the administration is balancing, but we’re starting to take on water fast. The president said he wouldn’t abandon farmers, and we take him at his word. But we need these trade disputes to end now.” Following are select national trade stories, featuring NPPC producer leaders and staff addressing the industry’s position:
- Fox Business News – Ken Maschhoff
- CNBC – Randy Spronk
- National Public Radio – John Weber
- AgWeb Daily – Nick Giordano
SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE SET TO TAKE UP 2018 FARM BILL
The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee next week will hold a business meeting to consider its version of the 2018 Farm Bill. NPPC has been urging Senate lawmakers to include in the bill language establishing and funding a robust Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank.