For the Week Ending April 29, 2022
April 29, 2022
NPPC URGES PHILIPPINES TO EXTEND HIGHER PORK QUOTA AND LOWER TARIFFS
NPPC applauded the recent recommendation of an advisory committee to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to extend through the end of the year the country’s reduced tariff rates on pork imports but also urged Manilla to reinstate its higher import quota. The cabinet-level Committee on Tariff and Related Matters this week approved extending the current 15% duty on imported pork within the country’s quota, known as the minimum access volume (MAV), and the 25% rate for imports above the MAV. Last May, the Philippines reduced the tariffs to those rates from, respectively, 30% and 40%. Without an extension, the current tariff rates will revert to the old rates May 17. Also in May 2021, the country increased the MAV, raising the quota to 254,210 metric tons (MT) from just 54,210 MT in 2020. That expired Jan. 31. Under the lower tariffs and higher quota, U.S. pork exports to the Philippines increased by nearly 79% in 2021, topping $204 million compared with $114.5 million in 2020. But with the expiration of the higher MAV, pork exports have dropped dramatically in the first two months of 2022, with the U.S. industry sending just $13 million compared with $28 million for the same period last year. NPPC worked with Philippines pork interests, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA to get increased market access to the Pacific island nation. In addition to asking for the higher MAV to be restored, NPPC also is urging the Philippines to make the MAV and the lower tariffs permanent.
GROUPS WANT MORE TIME TO COMMENT ON CLIMATE DATA REPORTING PROPOSAL
NPPC this week led a group of 119 other agricultural organizations in urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend the public comment period on a proposed regulation requiring U.S. publicly-traded companies to report their carbon emissions and other climate-related data, as well as similar information from their partner companies, suppliers and distributors. Under the regulation, a large meatpacking firm, for example, would need to report its greenhouse gas emissions, provide environmental risk analyses and detail other potentially sensitive business data as part of its regular financial filings and provide climate-related information from every farm supplying it with livestock. Likewise, a publicly-traded fertilizer company would need to report its climate information and similar data from farms to which it sold fertilizer. In late March, the SEC voted 3-1 to advance the rule, publishing the more than 500-page proposal in the Federal Register, with only a 39-day comment period. The agricultural groups in a letter sent Tuesday to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman asked for an additional 180 days to review and comment on the regulation, which one research and advisory company with experience in environmental, social and governance reporting estimated would cost companies $6.7 billion over the next three years. The organizations said the regulation likely would burden agricultural producers with “reporting obligations, technical challenges, significant financial and operational disruptions and the risk of financially crippling legal liabilities.” (Click here to read the letter.)
SENATORS URGE EPA TO KEEP LIVESTOCK EXEMPTION FROM EMISSIONS REPORTING
In a bipartisan letter sent late last week to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 19 senators asked the agency to “continue the longstanding exemption for livestock odors” from the reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). EPA in February was ordered by a U.S. District Court to revise its rules for EPCRA, which requires certain entities to notify state and local authorities about accidental spills and releases of hazardous materials and chemical explosions; it exempted agricultural producers from reporting routine emissions from their farms. While a U.S. Court of Appeals in 2017 rejected the exemption, a bipartisan Congress in 2018 overwhelmingly approved the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, which again exempted farms from reporting emissions from animal waste. Extremist groups, including the Humane Society of the United States and the Waterkeeper Alliance, in 2018 sued to have the FARM Act regulations vacated and to force farms to immediately begin reporting emissions. But EPA in a backroom deal agreed to settle the case with the activists and have the FARM Act rules remand to the agency to be redrafted. NPPC, which strongly supports the emissions reporting exemption for livestock producers, has pointed out that first responders have been clear they consider such reports unnecessary and burdensome.
U.S., U.K. CONTINUE TALKS ON CLOSER TRADE TIES
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week met with George Eustice, the United Kingdom’s secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as part of the two countries’ efforts to eventually hammer out a trade agreement. Separately, on Wednesday, NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys met with Eustice and discussed the need for U.S. pork to have better market access into the U.K. NPPC has been a supporter of closer trade relations with the U.K. since that country began the process of leaving the European Union. Also this week, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan met in Scotland and London as follow-ups to their meeting in Baltimore last month for the Joint U.K.-U.S. Dialogues on the Future of Atlantic Trade, an effort to boost trade and investments between the countries.
WORLD PORK EXPO SET FOR JUNE 8-10
NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo will be held June 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA. For more information about and to register for the world’s largest pork industry trade show and exhibition, click here.