For the Week Ending October 7, 2022

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Letter of Opposition for a Section 301 Investigation on Imports From Mexico

What happened? On Oct. 5, over 20 agricultural and industry associations, including National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), signed a letter urging USTR to reject the petition sent by a group of members of Congress to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requesting a Section 301 investigation on fresh produce imports from Mexico.

What does this mean? Mexico is the largest value and volume market for U.S. pork. A Section 301 investigation would undermine the relationship with one of our largest agricultural trading partners and create a substantial risk of retaliatory actions, jeopardizing this critical market for U.S. agricultural exports.

What is Section 301’s provisions? Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 grants USTR the authority to investigate and take action to enforce U.S. rights under trade agreements.

NPPC in Support of Federal Ruling on USDA’s NSIS

What happened? A federal judge in California ruled in support of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) New Swine Inspection Service (NSIS), which permits plant employees to pre-sort animals before slaughter.

What are the plaintiffs saying? Made up of consumer groups, arguments stated the rule undermines the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) by replacing federal inspection with employee sorting.

What are the defendants’ assertions? “The pre-inspection sorting conducted by plant employees does not replace federal inspection; rather, it provides an additional step in the process before federal inspection occurs.”

Our Take: We are pleased that the federal judge upheld the USDA NSIS that incentivizes investment in new technologies while ensuring a safe supply of wholesome American pork. Pork producers use science-based approaches to continuously improve and modernize their practices to ensure product quality and consistency and their workforce’s health and safety.

NPPC Supports the Protect Farmers From the SEC Act

What happened? The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new climate disclosure requirements, such as climate-related financial data and greenhouse gas emissions insights, for public companies. To combat this ruling, Congressman Frank Lucas, serves Oklahoma’s third congressional district, proposed the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.

What are we doing? Among 15 industry leaders and over a hundred members of Congress, a statement of support was issued.

Statement of Support: “American pig farmers remain committed to transparency and constant improvement in climate-related matters which is demonstrated by the industry shrinking their GHG footprint by over 21 percent over the last three decades,” said Terry Wolters, NPPC President. “We applaud Congressman Lucas for a bill that would protect all farmers from the added layers of reporting requirements and costs associated with the proposed rule.”

Celebrating Porktober

As October is National Pork Month, what better time than now to dive into your favorite pork products and learn about the significant economic contributions our industry has on local communities and those across the globe.

What’s Ahead:

California Proposition 12 SCOTUS Oral Arguments to Take Place Oct. 11

Background: California Proposition 12 is a ballot measure which prohibits the sale of pork, eggs and veal not produced according to the state’s arbitrary production standards.

What is the latest? On Oct. 11, NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation will present oral arguments to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). An audio feed of the oral arguments will be live-streamed and can be accessed here.

Why does it matter? Not only is California Proposition 12 unconstitutional and threatens animal welfare and producers’ livelihoods, but the outcome will also establish how similar matters play out in the future for all intrastate economic activity across the U.S.

Resources: For more information, we encourage you to visit our California Proposition 12 page.