For the Week Ending May 4, 2018
TEXAS TECH PROFESSOR NOMINATED TO LEAD USDA FOOD SAFETY EFFORTS
President Trump this week selected Mindy Brashears to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s under secretary for Food Safety. A professor of food microbiology and food safety and director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University, Brashears has conducted research on interventions in pre- and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance. Her efforts resulted in commercialization of a pre-harvest feed additive that can reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle. She has led international research teams to Mexico and to Central and South America to improve food safety and security and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in poor areas. She also has provided industry training in food sanitation, recalls and food security. NPPC will urge the Senate to quickly confirm Brashers for the important USDA position.
TRUMP DELAYS DECISION ON STEEL, ALUMINUM TARIFFS
President Trump this week postponed until June 1 the deadline for a final decision on tariffs on steel imported from Canada, the European Union and Mexico. Argentina, Australia and Brazil in March were granted exemptions from the 25 percent duty on steel imports and 10 percent levy on aluminum. NPPC has expressed concern that the tariffs will lead to trade retaliation like that taken by China against U.S. pork. NPPC continues to advocate for maintaining and expanding export opportunities for U.S. pork producers.
NIGERIA TO INCREASE ACCESS FOR U.S. EXPORTS
In a meeting with President Trump at the White House this week, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stated his intent to remove barriers to U.S. agricultural exports as the leaders worked to expand trade opportunities between the two nations. Nigeria currently restricts imports of U.S. pork. Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes estimates that Nigeria holds significant potential for U.S. pork exports. NPPC has been working with the U.S. government to open access in Nigeria for U.S. pork and pork products.
ECONOMISTS WARN AGAINST TRADE PROTECTIONISM
More than 1,000 economists, including 15 Nobel laureates, this week published an open letter to Congress and President Trump advocating against protectionist trade policies, including threats to terminate current free trade agreements and place unwarranted tariffs on certain imports. The economists warned that similar actions in 1930, including tariffs in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, were taken despite opposition from leading economists of the time. The result: a deep economic depression. Read the open letter here.
LIVESTOCK ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS OPEN FOR REVIEW
NPPC is opening for review five standards that address the environmental management of concentrated livestock operations. NPPC serves as the secretariat of the American National Standards for Good Environmental Livestock Production Practices (GELPP). The standards, based on industry-accepted best management practices, are used as a benchmark for comparing on-farm environmental management activities and serve as a source of information to the industry and the public. Reviewers can be those involved with livestock or poultry production on a day-to-day basis; those in academia, scientists, researchers and government regulators; food industry representatives, packers, processors and food retailers; those in agriculture associations or farm organizations; and individuals or representatives of groups having special interest in or knowledge of protection of natural resources. Information on participating in the GELPP standards review process can be requested by emailing Knowledge@kcoe.com.
NAFTA TALKS SET TO RESUME NEXT WEEK
Talks for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will resume May 7 in Washington, D.C., as representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico push to finalize an updated deal. NPPC continues to urge the Trump administration to maintain zero-duty market access for U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico and to caution that agreement termination would be detrimental for the U.S. pork industry, costing an estimated $1.5 billion.
WORLD PORK EXPO JUNE 6-8
NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be held June 6-8 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.