NPPC staff meets for fly-in, talks trade


By Kylene Scott, High Plains Journal

Oct 7, 2019


National Pork Producers Council members attended a legislative fly-in during mid-September, and recently shared their thoughts on a variety of subjects.


David Herring, president of NPPC and a producer from Lillington, North Carolina, said their meetings were multi-faceted and met a number of the group’s objectives.


“We’re here to activate our friends, legislative fly in, meeting with congressional representatives on issues of critical importance for U.S. pork,” Herring said.


As with many producer groups, trade is one of NPPC’s top issues.


“We asked members of Congress to support ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement,” Herring said. “Preserving zero tariffs protecting the North Americans for the long term will also highlight three issues related to the health of the U.S. swine herd and our industry.”


On Sept. 13, Herring said Chinese media reports indicated they were suspending the imposition of punitive tariffs on U.S. pork imports.


“If media reports are accurate, this is a most welcome development,” Herring said. “The Chinese have placed punitive tariffs of 60% on most U.S. pork products, bringing the effective tariff rate on most U.S. pork to 72%.”


Herring referenced Iowa State University economist, Dermot Hayes, and said the Chinese retaliation on U.S. pork has shaved $8 off the price of every hog sold in the United States for well over a year.


“Most of our competitors face only a 12% tariff on their pork exports to China,” he said. “Pork is somewhat unique given that it is the most important protein consumed in China, accounting for a significant part of the consumer price index.”


In China, pork is in short supply because African swine fever has ravaged the Chinese hog herd and significantly reduced the production of pork.


“When you consider that China is the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world, the importance of this market to U.S. pork producers is clear,” Herring said. “U.S. pork exports could single handedly make a huge dent in the trade imbalance with China. We are hopeful that this apparent gesture of goodwill by China leads not only to more sales of U.S. pork, but that it contributes to a resolution of U.S.-China trade restrictions.”


NPPC also asked members of Congress for their support of appropriation funding for 600 new agricultural inspectors...