National Pork Producers Council

08/30/2019 | Press release | Archived content

For the Week Ending August 30, 2019

U.S. PORK PRODUCERS CELEBRATE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH JAPAN Fulfilling one of NPPC's top trade priorities, the United States and Japan on Sunday announced a trade agreement that, once implemented, will place the U.S. pork industry back on a level playing field with international competitors in one of its most important export markets. The agreement was announced at the G7 summit in France during a press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. It's likely the deal will be signed next month, when both leaders attend the U.N. General Assembly. 'We thank the Trump administration for negotiating a trade agreement with Japan, a market that represented 25 percent of total U.S. pork exports last year,' said David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. and president of the National Pork Producers Council. 'We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking U.S. pork market share through more favorable access,' he said. Dr. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, estimates exports to Japan will grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years as a result of the United States pork industry getting market access in Japan as favorable as its competitors. Read NPPC's press release here.

On Aug. 23, China announced plans to impose additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. imports, including an extra 10 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. pork, on Sept. 1. This translates into U.S. pork producers facing a 72 percent tariff rate. China is the largest pork-consuming nation in the world and due to China's trade retaliation, U.S. pork producers are missing out 'on an unprecedented sales opportunity right now because of African swine fever (ASF) in China,' NPPC Vice President and Counsel, Global Government Affairs Nick Giordano told BNN Bloomberg on Tuesday (interview available here). He noted that approximately one-third of Chinese pork production has been taken offline due to ASF. U.S. pork producers 'understandably are very upset. They are the biggest cheerleaders for the U.S. and China putting this trade squabble behind them and moving on to normal market conditions,' he said. That would enable U.S. producers to continue to be the largest exporter of the lowest-cost, safest, high-quality pork in the world, he added.

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), with active support from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), recently received an approximately $1.7 million grant from USDA's Foreign Animal Service to start a dialogue on African swine fever (ASF) prevention, sharing veterinary knowledge and ways to prevent the disease from further spreading. The outbreak of ASF, a disease affecting only pigs with no human health or food safety risks, has been spreading throughout Asia. There are no reported cases of ASF in the U.S. 'NPPC, in partnership with Swine Health Information Center, National Pork Board, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and USDA, is committed to reducing the risk of the U.S. swine herd contracting foreign animal diseases, including ASF. With ASF spreading throughout Asia, this project will represent an important tool to further open both communication and markets between our regions,' said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer in Lillington, N.C. Under the first phase of the project, the groups will identify and meet with key stakeholders in Vietnam. In phase two, the groups will train the Vietnamese veterinary workforce on ASF prevention and control, helping to build local veterinary capacity. Concurrently in the final phase, ASF-related field projects will be implemented, including those helping to inform the U.S. pork industry about effective ASF preparedness and response. For the full press release, click here.

NPPC will host its fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11-12. The biannual fly-in draws more than 100 pork producers from around the country to meet with Congress to discuss various issues, including 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.