By National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
For the Week Ending May 10, 2019
ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL TARIFFS ON CHINESE GOODS
On Thursday the U.S. Trade Representative published a notice of its intent to increase the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%, which went into force today, May 10. The administration is now threatening to put 25% tariffs on the remaining $325 billion of Chinese imports. In response, China's Ministry of Commerce said it will take necessary countermeasures. China is the largest consumer and importer of pork in the world and has placed a 50% retaliatory tariff on U.S. pork on top of the existing 12% duty. NPPC continues to advocate aggressively the swift completion of a trade agreement with Japan.
ISSUES STATEMENT ON PLANNED TRADE RELIEF PACKAGE
On Friday, the Trump administration indicated it is planning a trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. In a statement issued this afternoon, NPPC President David Herring said, "U.S. pork has suffered from a disproportionate share of retaliation due to trade disputes with Mexico and China.... While there is no substitute for resolving these trade disputes and getting back to normal trade, NPPC welcomes the offer of assistance from President Trump. We stand ready to work with the USDA to facilitate U.S. pork exports as food aid to a number of nations." The resolution of trade disputes with Mexico and China remains NPPC's top priority.
SPEAKS AT USMCA HILL BRIEFING
NPPC Director of International Affairs Maria Zieba spoke Thursday at a congressional briefing on USMCA and agricultural trade in North America. In her remarks, she highlighted the importance of the Canadian and Mexico markets for U.S. pork. Since free trade was initiated between the United States and its North American trading partners, Canada and Mexico have evolved into two of the largest export markets for U.S. pork products. In 2018, Canada and Mexico took more than 40 percent by volume of the pork that was exported from the United States and they are on track to make up a large percentage this year as well. The USMCA preserves zero-tariff trade for U.S. pork in North America. Ratification of USMCA is under threat because of the steel and aluminum tariffs placed on both Canada and Mexico. Zieba outlined the need for immediate removal of these tariffs. In this Agri-Pulse article, NPPC President David Herring and Nick Giordano, NPPC's vice president and counsel, global government affairs, address mounting market share loss faced by U.S. pork in Mexico and other key markets due to trade disputes.
RESEARCH ON VIRAL TRANSMISSION IN FEEDSTUFFS LEADS TO FEED HOLDING TIME
New research is confirming that swine viruses can be transmitted through feed and feedstuffs. In a press release issued this week, NPPC, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), the National Pork Board, and American Association of Swine Veterinarians revised new guidelines for feed holding times. The Institute for Feed Education and Research, the public charity of the American Feed Industry Association, helped fund the research. The new details decrease holding times over the original suggestions, which were outlined in October 2018, and give additional assurances of further viral degradation if the feed ingredients are contaminated. More research would be needed to confirm that the results could be extrapolated to other feed ingredients in like classes to those studied. The updated information shows new holding times details for general informational and educational purposes. "Continued diligence on feedstuffs origin, the manufacturing processes, the shipping methods and 'born on date' is essential," says Liz Wagstrom, DVM and NPPC chief veterinarian. "Feedstuffs manufactured, sealed, handled, and shipped under biosecure conditions produces an ingredient free of pathogens and reduces the risk of post-processing contamination, resulting in little to no risk to animal health." Complete information on the research leading to the holding time calculation and the document, U.S. Pork Industry Organization Provide 'Options' for Handling Imported Feed Ingredients, are available at swinehealth.org.
TRADE TALKS KICK OFF BETWEEN U.S. AND E.U.
Preliminary trade talks begin this week in Washington, D.C. with senior officials from the U.S. and the European Union (EU), although there is not an agreement on whether agriculture will be included in the negotiations. The negotiating teams are laying the groundwork for a meeting between EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later this month. In October 2018, the White House announced plans to begin negotiating a trade agreement with the EU. The EU maintains high levels of tariff protection as well as scientifically unjustifiable sanitary-phytosanitary and technical barriers to trade that make shipment of U.S. pork to the EU difficult, if not impossible. NPPC expects the EU to: a) eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers in line with the free trade agreements it has with 20 other nations and b) recognize the equivalence of U.S. pork production practices and accept exports from all USDA approved facilities.
DOES NOT PROVIDE RECIPROCAL MARKET ACCESS TO PORK AND OTHER U.S. PRODUCTS
Thailand has a number of trade barriers that operate as a de facto ban on U.S. pork exports. It has been unresponsive to calls from the United States to lift the restrictions. Thailand is a top beneficiary of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which gives duty-free treatment to certain goods entering the U.S. The program allows for removal of a country's benefits if it fails to provide the U.S. "equitable and reasonable access" to its market. NPPC has called for Thailand's preferential access to the U.S. market to be revoked or reduced if it does not end its ban on U.S. pork, and in May 2018 petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative to review the country's GSP eligibility. NPPC's GSP petition is moving through the process. Meanwhile, the U.S. has terminated Turkey's Eligibility for the GSP program and may also revoke India's GSP status. NPPC is hopeful that Thailand understands that the U.S. is serious about enforcing trade obligations such as providing reciprocal market access to pork and other U.S. products.