For the Week Ending October 26, 2018
NPPC LAUDS TRADE PROGRESS WITH PHILIPPINES
NPPC this week welcomed progress by the Trump administration on a number of issues under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the Philippines. NPPC hopes the progress on these issues moves the United States closer to initiating free trade agreement negotiations with the Philippines, a priority market for U.S. pork producers. Last year, the United States shipped nearly $100 million of pork to the Philippines. U.S. pork sales to the country would grow significantly through a free trade agreement that removes tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.
USDA LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON PORK IMPORTS FROM POLAND
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday lifted its temporary suspension on imports of fresh and frozen pork from Poland. USDA last week stopped the imports out of an abundance of caution while it completed a review of Poland’s export protocols in light of that country having African Swine Fever (ASF), a highly contagious, trade-limiting pig disease with no cure. The disease risk underscores the need for the United States to be better prepared to address foreign animal diseases, including by establishing a more robust vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), another trade-limiting disease endemic in many parts of the world. NPPC supports in the 2018 Farm Bill mandatory funding for an FMD vaccine bank and other disease-prevention programs.
U.S., EU TRADE DEAL POSSIBILITY REMAINS; EU OFFICIALS VISIT U.S.
Officials from the European Union were in Washington, D.C., this week following last week’s announcement by the Trump administration that the United States would negotiate a trade deal with the EU. Official talks on the potential agreement are yet to get underway. NPPC continues to emphasize that any negotiation with the EU must prioritize the elimination of the EU’s many sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) restrictions on U.S. agricultural imports. For pork, EU SPS measures pose a significant barrier to U.S. pork sales. The restrictions are not based on science or related to any legitimate concerns on food safety. In addition, NPPC will only support a deal with the EU that eliminates its tariffs on US. pork.
USDA, FDA HOLD JOINT MEETING ON CULTURED PROTEIN PRODUCTS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Wednesday and Thursday held a joint public meeting to discuss regulatory oversight of lab-produced cultured protein (L-PCP) derived from livestock and poultry. Dr. Dan Kovich, NPPC’s director of science and technology, provided comments at the meeting. NPPC strongly supports USDA having primary regulatory authority over L-PCP, which should be inspected—and have any label claims approved—by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. FSIS has the expertise and capability to provide continuous inspection to facilities producing L-PCP and to make sure that the product names and label claims are transparent, fact-based and appropriate.
NPPC ATTENDS U.S. ANIMAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION MEETING
NPPC Chief Veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom this week attended the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA) annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo. USAHA is an association of state and federal regulatory officials, laboratories and livestock industry representatives. Because of industry efforts, including support from 26 state pork organizations, important resolutions were approved by the association’s committees and the board of directors. The resolutions urged the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) veterinary diagnostic laboratories to immediately begin a formal African Swine Fever (ASF) surveillance program in the United States, to enhance ASF and Classical Swine Fever surveillance by expanding tissues inspected to include tonsils, spleens and lymph nodes, and to provide access to reagents that will, using swine oral fluids, detect viral Psuedorabies DNA.