Capital Update – For the Week Ending June 7, 2024

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In this week’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Friday recap: NPPC holds another successful World Pork Expo; and NPPC urges renewal of trade preference programs. Take a deeper dive below.

NPPC Holds Another Successful World Pork Expo

What happened: An estimated 12,000 people attended the 36th annual World Pork Expo — the world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show — at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines June 5-6.

The NPPC event brought together pork producers and industry professionals from around the globe for two days of education, innovation, networking, and pork. Dozens of media attended, and more than 400 pork industry exhibitors from North America, Europe, and Asia displayed their products throughout the fairgrounds.

Highlights of Expo included an NPPC policy panel where its board officers and staff experts discussed the pork industry’s current legislative, regulatory, legal, and trade priorities. Among the topics covered were the 2024 Farm Bill, California Proposition 12, agricultural labor, an enhanced swine traceability system, international trade, and foreign animal disease preparation and prevention.

Distinguished guests at Expo included Jennifer Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig, both of whom spoke at two exclusive NPPC Strategic Investment Program (SIP) luncheons. Additionally, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, was in attendance at the Expo.

NPPC also launched the “Young Pork Advocates Issues Meet,” a speaking competition for young people aged 17-22. Competitors engaged in open dialogues on the pork industry’s most pressing issues, discussed solutions, and developed motions for addressing the issues, a method identical to NPPC’s process. After two rounds of competition on Wednesday, four finalists vied for top honors on Thursday, with Emma Kuhns winning a $2,500 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C., for NPPC’s fall legislative fly-in. The second-, third-, and fourth-place finalists — Amanda Ostrem, Graca Goettsch, and Bella Stouffer, respectively — also received scholarships.

Why it matters: World Pork Expo is the pork industry’s occasion to showcase its latest products, innovations, and technologies, exchange ideas, and educate the public about pork production and its challenges and opportunities.

Policy panel at World Pork Expo

Left to right: Chip Flory from Farm Journal Media and AgriTalk (public policy panel host), NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys, NPPC President Lori Stevermer, NPPC Assistant Vice President of Domestic Policy Chase Adams, NPPC Vice President of Government Affairs Maria Zieba, and NPPC Director of Animal Health Dr. Anna Forseth.

Jennifer Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, delivered remarks to SIP investors. She encouraged strengthening of agricultural markets and building of a safer food supply for the U.S.

USDA Under Secretary Jenny Moffitt at World Pork Expo
Iowa Ag Secretary MIke Naig at World Pork Expo

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig addressed SIP investors during an exclusive luncheon on Thursday.

NPPC officers and leadership engaged in discussion with Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and Members of the Parliament.

NPPC leaders with Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian Minister of Ag
Young Pork Advocates Issues Meet competitors

After two days of competition, the Young Pork Advocates Issues Meet ended on Thursday. This competition, sponsored by Novus International and Nutra Blend, fostered discussion on some of the industry’s key issues between competitors.

During Thursday’s SIP Luncheon, investors benefitted from insights shared during a policy panel featuring NPPC subject matter experts: CEO Bryan Humphreys; Assistant Vice President of Domestic Policy Chase Adams; Manager of Competition, Labor, and Tax Christina Banoub; Director of State Policy Andrew Beardslee; and Director of Food Policy Dr. Ashley Johnson.

NPPC expert panel at World Pork Expo SIP Luncheon
McDonald's, Lopez-Dorada Foods, and Fulton Market Group donated food at World Pork Expo

Thanks to the generosity and support of McDonalds, Lopez-Dorada Foods, and Fulton Market Group, Expo exhibitors and attendees were provided with free breakfast sandwiches during the event.

Ozcar (pictured) and Pip, part of the “Beagle Brigade,” attended the Expo. The U.S. Customs Border Protection provided daily demonstrations showcasing the importance of the canine teams that work daily to prevent foreign animal and plant diseases from entering the U.S.

Beagle Brigade member Ozcar

NPPC Urges Renewal of Trade Preference Programs, With Exceptions

What happened: In written testimony submitted for the record, NPPC urged the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to renew U.S. trade preference programs, which the pork industry had long used as a mechanism to provide leverage during market access requests. The committee held a hearing on the programs on June 5.

NPPC focused its testimony on the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which give imports from eligible countries duty-free access to the United States. As a condition of eligibility, beneficiary nations must give U.S. products “reasonable and equitable” access to their markets. GSP expired at the end of 2020 and AGOA expires in 2025. 

GSP, which is primarily granted to developing countries, is an important tool used by U.S. trade negotiators to persuade nations to eliminate trade barriers and open their markets to U.S. goods. NPPC supports legislation (H.R. 7986), sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), to renew the program through Dec. 31, 2030. His bill enhances enforcement mechanisms requiring GSP beneficiary countries to provide open and equitable market access for U.S. agriculture, including adopting science-based standards.

Similar to GSP, AGOA gives sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the United States and helps expand U.S. trade and investment in the region, stimulate economic growth, and facilitate sub-Saharan Africa’s integration into the global economy. 

NPPC’s take: NPPC supports the program renewal and highlighted South Africa and Nigeria as two examples of beneficiary countries that limit market access for U.S. pork. Specifically, they impose ongoing “unwarranted, non-scientific” restrictions on U.S. pork, which severely limit exports to both countries. NPPC recently submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, urging it to withhold AGOA benefits for South Africa and Nigeria.

NPPC also called on lawmakers to renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), which temporarily reduces or eliminates U.S. tariffs on products that are not available in the United States but are needed by U.S. producers. Although not a trade preference program, the MTB supports U.S. exports. It expired in December 2020. 

Why it matters: Gaining and expanding access to markets around the world is paramount to the growth of the U.S. pork industry. Exports contribute significantly to producers’ bottom line, accounting for more than 25% of U.S. pork production. In 2023, the industry sent more than 2.9 million metric tons valued at $8.16 billion — a record — to more than 100 nations, equating to about $64 in value on average from each hog that was marketed last year.