For the Week Ending May 19, 2017
NPPC SUPPORTS NEW REGULATORY REFORM LEGISLATION
NPPC this week joined more than 50 agriculture organizations in a letter supporting regulatory reform legislation. The “Regulatory Accountability Act,” introduced by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., calls for significantly higher federal agency scrutiny of new rules before they can be proposed, including a cost-benefit analysis of rules that would have a significant economic impact. On Wednesday, the legislation cleared the Senate Homeland Security Committee and now heads to the full Senate for a vote. NPPC strongly supports this important legislation, which increases transparency of the rule-making process while allowing for more congressional oversight and reasonable, science-based regulation. Click here to read the letter.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION STARTS PROCESS TO RENEGOTIATE NAFTA
The Trump administration Thursday sent to Congress a letter notifying lawmakers of its intent to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. The letter initiates a 90-day period in which Trump trade officials must consult with Congress on the objectives of the trade talks. Thirty days prior to negotiations starting, the administration must make public a “detailed and comprehensive summary of the specific objectives” for a new agreement. NPPC issued a statement urging the administration to maintain tariffs at zero and called for no disruption of trade with two of the U.S. pork industry’s biggest export markets.
U.S. SENATORS CAUTION USTR AMBASSADOR ON NAFTA
Following Robert Lighthizer’s confirmation last week, 18 U.S. senators representing states that have realized economic gain from NAFTA sent a letter to the new USTR ambassador urging him not to disrupt an agreement that has tripled U.S. exports of agricultural and manufacturing goods and services. The letter noted opportunities to strengthen NAFTA while warning that “efforts to abandon or impose unnecessary restrictions on trade with our North American partners will have devastating economic consequences.”
PERDUE TESTIFIES BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week testified before the House Committee on Agriculture, addressing a wide range of issues, including the recent USDA reorganization, the importance of trade for U.S. agriculture and the potential risk from a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak. In response to an FMD-related question from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, Perdue said, “I look at vaccines as insurance. You can’t have your house burn down, take insurance out after the fact and have it pay off.” NPPC continues to advocate strongly for Farm Bill funding for an FMD vaccine bank.
COURT RULING COULD CHANGE EUROPEAN TRADE LANDSCAPE
A European Union Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that a free trade agreement with Singapore must be ratified by all 28 member states of the EU before passage. Most of the member states require parliamentary approval of trade deals, meaning likely further delay of the Singapore agreement and other EU trade deals, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States. The court ruling prompted speculation that the EU may struggle to get any trade deals enacted and could put the United Kingdom in a stronger position to negotiate free trade agreements following its pending departure from the EU.
U.S. PORK NOW ACCEPTED IN BARBADOS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) this week updated the export requirements for U.S. pork access to Barbados. The change makes fresh/frozen and cooked pork and pork products officially eligible for export to the island nation. Barbados has accepted the use of the U.S. pork industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program sourcing as a means to meet trichinae mitigation requirements, which allows for the shipment of fresh chilled pork products without testing, freezing or cooking. Previously, wild boar was the only pork product that could be exported to Barbados. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States has been shipping very minimal volumes of frozen pork to Barbados over the past few years. The country’s 186 percent duty on pork products – except ribs and some cuts for hotels – continues to be the biggest hurdle to the market. For more information, visit the FSIS Export Library.
WORLD PORK EXPO JUNE 7-9
NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo will be held June 7-9 at the Iowa State fairgrounds in Des Moines. For more information about, and media registration for, the world’s largest pork industry trade show and exhibition, click here.