For the Week Ending September 13, 2019

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On Friday, Chinese media reported that it was suspending the imposition of punitive tariffs on U.S. pork imports. In a press release issued Friday morning, NPPC President David Herring said if the media reports were accurate, this was a most welcome development. China recently imposed an additional 10 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. pork. This translates into U.S. pork producers facing a 72 percent tariff rate, while most other countries face only a 12 percent tariff on their pork exports to China. “Additionally, pork is in short supply in China because African swine fever has ravaged the Chinese hog herd and significantly reduced the production of pork. When you consider that China is the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world, the importance of this market to U.S. pork producers is clear….We are hopeful that this apparent gesture of goodwill by China leads not only to more sales of U.S. pork, but that it contributes to a resolution of U.S.-China trade restrictions,” said Herring. The U.S. and China are holding high-level trade talks in early October in Washington, D.C. To view the full press release, click here

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 120 pork producers from around the country attended NPPC’s fall Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C., meeting with lawmakers about a variety of topics. Main issues included ensuring Congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), appropriations funding for 600 new U.S. agricultural inspectors to prevent the spread of foreign animal diseases to the U.S., African swine fever safeguards and regulatory oversight of gene-edited livestock with USDA, not the FDA.  Members of the Pork Leadership Institute, the largest class to date, also met this week in Washington this week, where they spent time learning about NPPC’s advocacy work and participated in meetings on the Hill. This week’s fly in also included a Wednesday evening reception, “Bacon Fest,” and a media briefing on Thursday with NPPC’s leadership. To read a press release highlighting NPPC’s top priorities during the fly in, click here

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency repealed the previous Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and laid the groundwork for a new final rule. The previous WOTUS rule was issued by the Obama administration in August 2015, giving EPA broad jurisdiction over U.S. waters to include other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams that farmers use for drainage and irrigation. NPPC issued a press release applauding EPA’s action. “We’re pleased the EPA is moving towards a common sense WOTUS rule that works with—not against—farmers to protect our nation’s waterways,” said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “The previous WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal authority over private lands. Today’s action will remove the threat that the 2015 WOTUS rule posed for our ability to efficiently grow the amount of food needed by people around the globe, while providing regulatory certainty to our farmers and businesses. We look forward to working with this administration to finally implement a new WOTUS rule,” he added. NPPC had opposed the 2015 WOTUS rule because it was overly broad and had significant technical flaws, including the process that EPA used to develop the rule, which violated basic due process and long-standing procedural protections. To view the full press release, click here.