For the Week Ending March 22, 2019
AFRICAN SWINE FEVER PREVENTION REMAINS A TOP PRIORITY
On March 15, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it intercepted a shipment of illegal pork products from China before it could enter the United States. NPPC continues to work closely with U.S. government officials to strengthen safeguards against the spread of ASF and other animal diseases. To read NPPC’s complete statement on this development, click here.
USDA REPORT REFLECTS STRONG U.S. PORK ANTIBIOTIC STEWARDSHIP
Virtually no veterinary drug residue was found in U.S. pork based on a study releases this week by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The study is based on more than a thousand pork kidney samples. “These findings signal that U.S. pork producers are using veterinary compounds properly, and indicate that veterinary drug residues in pork are not posing a health concern to U.S. consumers,” said Weilin Shelver, a research chemist with the ARS. The USDA report follows an FDA report released late last year that said sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials intended for use in food-producing animals dropped 33 percent between 2016 and 2017. The National Pork Producers Council has consistently said that it supports the responsible use of antibiotics to keep animals healthy and to produce safe food. The U.S. pork industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) certification program, which includes on-farm assessments, provides guidance on responsible antimicrobial use. You can read the USDA’s announcement here.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION RECEIVES COMMERCE DEPARTMENT REPORT ON POTENTIAL AUTO TARIFFS
The U.S. Department of Commerce this week provided the Trump administration with a report indicating support for the imposition of up to 25 percent tariffs on automobile and auto part imports. President Trump has 90 days to make his final decision on imposing such tariffs. NPPC and other industry groups have raised concerns about imposing auto tariffs, warning about likely retaliatory measures against U.S. agriculture and other business sectors.
PROGRESS ON U.S. PORK MARKET ACCESS TO BRAZIL
The United States and Brazil agreed this week to discuss Brazilian market access for U.S. pork on science-based terms. NPPC has consistently called for reciprocity with Brazil and an end to the unscientific trade requirements that amount to a de facto ban on U.S. pork. While a positive development, NPPC remains focused on he resolution of trade disputes that have prompted retaliatory tariffs against U.S. pork. Nick Giordano, NPPC vice president of global government affairs, this week discussed NPPC trade priorities on Adams on Agriculture. You can listen here.
NPPC STAFF HOST HOUSE AND SENATE BRIEFINGS
NPPC hosted briefings for staffers from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate this week. The briefings provided a basic overview of U.S. pork production systems and addressed priority issues, including trade, gene edited livestock, California’s Proposition 12 and Farm Bill implementation. NPPC was represented by Dustin Baker, Michael Formica, Dan Kovich, Danielle Sikes and Maria Zieba.
AGRICULTURAL GROUPS REQUEST USDA AFRI FUNDING
NPPC this week joined over 50 agricultural organizations on a letter to House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee leadership requesting that the FY2020 spending bill allocates $445 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The AFRI is a competitive grant program through the USDA for agricultural research, which has a significant return of $20 for every $1 invested. Agriculture research allows U.S. agriculture to compete globally with countries increasing investment in innovation and scientific breakthroughs.
PORK PRODUCERS TO LOBBY CONGRESS ON INDUSTRY ISSUES
NPPC will host its spring Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. April 10-11, 2019. The biannual fly-in draws from around the country about 125 pork producers who will lobby congressional lawmakers on issues of importance to the U.S. pork industry, including the importance of maintaining and expanding export opportunities, Farm Bill implementation, African swine fever safeguards and necessary visa reform to address the current agricultural worker shortage. The popular Bacon Fest reception will be held April 10.