For the Week Ending September 7, 2018
|AS AFRICAN SWINE FEVER SPREADS, U.S. PORK INDUSTRY TAKING ACTION
NPPC this week hosted a meeting with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, the Swine Health Information Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including U.S. Chief Veterinary Officer Jack Shere, to discuss the threat of and protect America’s pork producers from foreign animal diseases (FADs), including African Swine Fever. More than a dozen cases of ASF have surfaced in China. To support the effort to prevent FADs, NPPC is asking for mandatory funding as part of the 2018 Farm Bill of $150 million for a vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, $30 million for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which does animal disease diagnostics, and $70 million in block grants for state animal-health agencies for efforts to prevent diseases.
USDA MITIGATION PROGRAM PROVIDES UNPRECEDENTED AID FOR U.S. PORK; MARKET FACILITATION PROGRAM SIGN-UP OPENS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s relief program unveiled last week includes unprecedented aid for U.S. pork, including $559 million of pork purchases, the largest share of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s food assistance program. The Market Facilitation Program — sign up here — provides assistance by paying $8 per head on 50 percent of a producer’s Aug. 1, 2018, inventory. U.S. pork producers are receiving the second highest share of this element of the relief program. Further details on the programs can be found here. NPPC supports USDA assistance, developed in response to trade retaliation faced by U.S. agriculture, but continues to advocate for an end to trade disputes that are causing financial harm to farmers.
INDONESIA, AUSTRALIA COMMIT TO TRADE AGREEMENT
Indonesia and Australia this week concluded negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). The partnership deepens the trade ties between the countries, benefiting a multitude of industries, including agriculture. NPPC continues to push for full access to the Australian market. Pork is the largest U.S. agricultural export to Australia, but market access has been restricted through its prohibition on selling chilled and frozen U.S. pork at retail. That decision was not based on science. U.S. pork exports would increase significantly if Australia eliminated its unjustified restrictions, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
NPPC MEMBERS TO LOBBY CONGRESS ON PORK INDUSTRY ISSUES
NPPC will host its fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C., next week, Sept. 12-13. The biannual fly-in draws from around the country more than 125 pork producers, including 18 who will be participating in NPPC’s Pork Leadership Institute, a grassroots leadership development program. Producers will lobby congressional lawmakers on issues of importance to the U.S. pork industry, including asking them to urge the Trump administration to end trade disputes and pursue bilateral trade agreements, to rescind regulations detrimental to agriculture, to approve visa reform to address an agricultural labor shortage and to support establishing and funding a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
FMCSA TO HOLD PUBLIC LISTENING SESSION ON HOURS OF SERVICE RULES
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced this week that a public listening session will be held on potential changes to the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules for commercial truck drivers, including drivers hauling livestock. The listening session will be Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E., beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.