For the Week Ending June 9, 2017
WORLD PORK EXPO 2017 AN INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
Approximately 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 annual World Pork Expo. NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, President-Elect Jim Heimerl and NPPC board member Kraig Westerbeek opened the world’s largest pork-specific trade show and exhibition with a press briefing addressing the U.S. pork industry’s regulatory reform priorities. NPPC’s immediate past president, John Weber, and Vice President David Herring hosted a second press briefing to discuss international trade priorities and the importance of federal funding for a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank. More than 100 journalists attended this year’s event. Nearly 450 pork industry suppliers from North America, Europe and Asia were showcased at the 29th Expo, which featured the largest exhibition space in the history of the show.
SECURE PORK SUPPLY PLAN WILL MINIMIZE BUSINESS DISRUPTIONS
The National Pork Board this week announced the creation of a Secure Pork Supply plan to help the U.S. pork industry respond to major threats, including a foreign animal disease (FAD). It provides procedures that producers, processors and federal and state agencies can implement should an FAD strike, according to the veterinarian and director of swine health programs for the Pork Checkoff, Patrick Webb. The result of ongoing collaboration among NPPC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Pork Board, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and academia, the plan will provide business continuity to producers who enroll in the program before an FAD event. Click here to read an overview of the plan.
U.S., MEXICO SUGAR DEAL BODES WELL FOR NAFTA ‘MODERNIZATION’
U.S. and Mexican negotiators this week reached a deal in principle related to imports of sugar from Mexico, a development that bodes well for future talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. In a statement issued Monday, NPPC praised Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his team for reaching the deal, which addresses a potentially contentious trade dispute. NPPC, which strongly backed NAFTA and is supportive on “modernizing” the agreement, wants to ensure that North American pork trade isn’t disrupted during any renegotiation and that the zero-tariff rate on U.S. pork exports to Mexico and Canada. NAFTA has been a tremendous success for America’s pork producers; Canada and Mexico represent 36 percent of global U.S. pork exports and more than 15 percent of total pork production. According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, U.S. pork exports to Mexico have created more than 9,000 U.S. jobs. But Hayes calculates that if NAFTA were terminated, the U.S. pork industry would lose the entire Mexican market. That undoubtedly would be the case for many other U.S. products, so the importance of Mexico and the United States reaching agreement on sugar cannot be overstated, according to NPPC. Click here to read NPPC’s statement.
NPPC, U.S. POULTRY SEEK REHEARING ON EMISSIONS REPORTING CASE
NPPC this week joined the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in requesting a rehearing of a case related to air emissions reporting, following a ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court’s decision rejected an exemption for farms from reporting emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). CERCLA and EPCRA work together to notify local first responders of emergency hazards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had provided farms an exemption from CERCLA reporting of low-level emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide generated from the natural breakdown of animal manure after an agency evaluation determined that any emergency response was “unnecessary, impractical and unlikely.” Environmental activist groups sued EPA over the exemption; NPPC intervened in the lawsuit to defend the agency’s common-sense exemption. NPPC’s and U.S. Poultry’s rehearing petition is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Milk Producers Federation and the United Egg Producers.
NPPC JOINS PORTS COALITION ON CONTRACT EXTENSION LETTER
NPPC this week signed onto a letter from the Ports Coalition, of which it is a member, applauding the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) for agreeing to early discussions on a contract extension that will allow ports on the West Coast to operate without interruption. PMA provided ILWU with a three-year contract extension offer April 28. ILWU voted to send the contract extension proposal to members for a vote, scheduled for later this summer. “Agreeing to early contract discussions was clearly a difficult and unprecedented step,” the coalition wrote. “However, we believe it is a step that should serve as a model for future negotiations. We strongly believe that early and continuous dialog can strengthen the U.S. economy and the competitive position of West Coast international gateways.” The Ports Coalition, which represents the interests of manufacturers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors and transportation and logistics providers, had urged the ILWU, which represents dock workers, and the PMA, which represents port owners and operators, to begin negotiations on their next contract early to avoid another work slowdown such as the one the affected 29 West Coast ports in late 2014-early 2015. That labor dispute cost the U.S. meat industry millions of dollars in lost export sales. Click here for a recent article on the contract extension.
ROBERTS, STABENOW TO HOLD HEARING ON AGRICULTURE RESEARCH
Senate Committee on Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., this week announced their panel will hold a hearing titled “Agricultural Research: Perspectives on Past and Future Successes for the 2018 Farm Bill.” Analysis of the hearing will be reported in next week’s Capital Update.