For the Week Ending September 23, 2022
NPPC Wants Kenya to Eliminate Tariff, Non-tariff Barriers to U.S. Pork
In comments submitted late last week to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, NPPC urged U.S. trade negotiators to use the recently launched Strategic and Investment Partnership with Kenya to eliminate that country’s unjustified restrictions on U.S. pork imports.
With a population of more than 50 million, an expanding middle class — and relatively strong tourism-driven demand from the hotel, restaurant, and institutional food service sector — the African nation has the potential to be a significant export market for U.S. pork products, NPPC noted in its comments.
But Kenya has tariff — a 25% duty — and non-tariff barriers, including complex, opaque, and costly requirements that limit U.S. pork imports. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reports that all imports of certain agricultural products, including meat, must be physically inspected and tested at the port of entry to ensure conformity with relevant Kenyan standards.
NPPC requested that Kenya eliminate its onerous testing and inspection requirements for U.S. pork, eliminate non-science-based sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, and recognize the equivalence of U.S. pork production practices and the U.S. food safety inspection and approval system for pork slaughter, processing, and storage plants.
Ag Groups Urge Senate to Vote on USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator
NPPC joined 104 agricultural and food organizations on a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging the Senate to approve Doug McKalip as the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. His nomination has been stalled since June.
In the letter, the groups expressed concern over the delay, pointing out that they are “reminded daily of the need for greater attention and emphasis from the [Biden] Administration on agricultural export market growth.”
The organizations noted that USDA recently cut its fiscal 2022 agricultural export forecast and projected an agricultural trade deficit for fiscal 2023. U.S. agriculture has for decades had a trade surplus.
“Agricultural trade deficits, once unimaginable, are now reality, underscoring the need to have in place a Senate-confirmed negotiator dedicated to pushing for new agricultural markets and removing barriers to growth in existing ones,” said the organizations, which asked the Senate to confirm McKalip “as soon as possible.”
Agricultural Nominees Approved by Senate Agriculture Committee
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry this week held a hearing and voted on the nominees for three important agricultural posts in the Biden administration, advancing all of them.
The panel sent to the Senate floor for consideration Alexis Taylor to be USDA’s Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban for Under Secretary of Food Safety. It also approved Vincent Logan to be a board member of the Farm Credit Administration. The FCA is an independent financial regulatory agency that oversees the Farm Credit System, a network of lending institutions that serve farmers.
Taylor, who currently is director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, previously was deputy undersecretary of USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services and chief of staff to the FFAS undersecretary and adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during the Obama administration.
Esteban serves as chief scientist for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a post he’s held since August 2018. He joined FSIS in 2008, and prior to that, he worked in several positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Logan is with the Native American Agriculture Fund, serving as chief financial officer and chief information officer. The NAAF provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers. In 2014, he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the Special Trustee for American Indians at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
NPPC supports the nominees and is urging the Senate to quickly consider and confirm them.
Dolch is NPPC’S New Marketing and Digital Communications Manager
Mikayla Dolch is the new manager of marketing and digital communications for NPPC. Working out of the organization’s office in Des Moines, Iowa, she reports to Annemarie Pender, NPPC’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications.
Dolch came to NPPC from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, where she was deputy director of communications for Secretary Mike Naig. Among other duties, she managed the department’s public relations and oversaw visual and written content for its social media platforms.
Prior to that, Dolch worked in the corporate affairs department for the Renewable Energy Group — a biodiesel production company — as an administrative assistant for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, and as an intern for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the Iowa Pork Producers Association, and the Iowa Soybean Association. She also helps with the family operation, the Dolch Brothers Farms, and served as the Iowa FFA Association southwest state vice president.
Raised on her family’s diversified livestock and row crop farm near Villisca, Iowa, Dolch attended Iowa State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and life sciences education and international agriculture. She received a master’s degree in international agriculture and agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University.