For The Week Ending Feb. 14, 2014
JAPAN MUST ELIMINATE ALL BARRIERS TO U.S. PORK THROUGH TPP
NPPC will oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement if Japan is included in the deal but doesn’t eliminate all tariffs and other forms of protection on pork. Japan is demanding special treatment for its agricultural sector, including exclusion from the agreement of certain “sensitive” products that includes pork. In addition to being the largest value market for U.S. pork exports ($1.89 Billion in 2013), Japan is the fourth largest market for the rest of U.S. agriculture, which shipped $12.1 billion of food and agricultural products to the island nation in 2013. The TPP is a regional trade negotiation that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. Tariffs have been eliminated on pork in every other U.S. free trade agreement, and TPP should be no different. A final TPP agreement that does not eliminate all tariffs and non-tariff barriers on U.S. pork products will negatively affect U.S. pork exports for the next 20 years, meaning billions of dollars less in U.S. pork sales and tens of thousands fewer U.S. jobs. If the United States allows product exclusions, future TPP partners such as China and the Philippines inevitably will demand the right to do the same. Already the European Union (EU) has indicated it will seek to protect pork and other agricultural products through the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Lead trade negotiators from Japan and the United States, along with other TPP partners, will meet in Singapore next week to discuss outstanding critical points of the negotiations, including U.S. pork market access in Japan.
DIETARY GUIDELINES INDUSTRY COALITION SUBMITS COMMENTS
As a part of the Dietary Guidelines Industry Coalition, NPPC this week submitted comments on the transparency of the public Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Meeting. The coalition applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services for allowing in-person participation for the first two 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) public meetings. The coalition also commended the work done to make the public more involved but said more transparency is crucial for the remaining three DGAC meetings. NPPC will continue to be involved in the commenting process for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Click here to read the comments.
FERC ORDERS EMERGENCY OPERATIONS TO ADDRESS PROPANE CRISIS
Seeking to quickly address the rapidly expanding emergency caused by bitter artic weather and insufficient supplies of propane, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the first time in history this week used its emergency authority to order the operator of the major Midwestern propane pipeline to allocate sufficient “available capacity” to address supply concerns. This action, which is the culmination of an effort NPPC jump started in a series of emails and phone calls to FERC staff on Jan. 24, came after increasing public and political concerns over the crisis. Last week, following an initial letter to President Obama from the Minnesota Congressional delegation, 73 additional members of Congress led by Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Adrian Smith, R-Neb., sent a letter to the president encouraging him to take immediate action to address the shortage. Click here to read the letter.
EU TO SEEK SPECIAL PROTECTION FOR BEEF, POULTRY AND PORK IN THE TTIP
The European Union (EU) next week is expected to make an offer to the United States as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks between the two economic powers to lift existing tariffs on nearly all goods imported from America. Unfortunately, the EU has stated it is unwilling to eliminate tariffs on beef, poultry and pork. NPPC’s position is that tariffs should be brought to zero on all products, including pork. The elimination of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) and of unscientific barriers put up by the EU to protect its domestic industries are reasonable requests that are consistent with all previous U.S. free trade agreements; the EU should be no different. The EU is the second largest market in the world for pork consumption and represents a tremendous market opportunity for U.S. pork exports. The fourth round of TTIP negotiations is set for March 10-14 in Brussels, Belgium. Any trade deal with the EU must eliminate all tariffs and all other barriers on U.S. pork. Removal of all EU barriers would significantly increase U.S. pork exports to the EU, creating more than 17,000 U.S. jobs, according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
PORK CARES WEBSITE GETS A RESEARCH-BASED MAKEOVER
The pork industry website Pork Cares last Friday rolled out a fresh look with new images and messaging based on consumer research. Jointly-funded by NPPC and the National Pork Board, the new Pork Cares site offers more in-depth explanations about how pigs are raised and answers many questions consumers have. The site also highlights the continuous improvements made in U.S. pork production. Click here to visit the new site.
AGRICULTURE OUTLOOK FORUM SET FOR NEXT WEEK
The U.S. Department of Agriculture next Thursday and Friday will host the 90th Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va. The conference is designed to provide farmers and ranchers, government and agribusinesses with a variety of information. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two panels that will focus on building domestic and international markets as well as other opportunities within agriculture. NPPC Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom will moderate a panel focused on the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), and Iowa pork producer Dr. Craig Rowles will serve as a panelist on the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Food Dialogues. Click here to view the program schedule.
2014 PORK FORUM SET FOR MARCH 6-8
The 2014 National Pork Industry Forum will be held March 6-8, at the Sheraton Hotel Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo. For more information and to register for the joint NPPC-National Pork Board annual meeting, click here.