CAPITAL UPDATE

 

By National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)

For the Week Ending May 6, 2022

NPPC ASKS SEC FOR MORE TIME TO REVIEW CLIMATE REPORTING PROPOSAL

NPPC this week met with senior leadership from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the agency’s proposed regulations mandating that publicly traded companies report on their carbon emissions and other climate-related information, including not only their direct greenhouse gas emissions but the GHGs from partner companies, suppliers and distributors throughout the supply chain. NPPC raised concerns about the proposal, including its potential to expose farmers and ranchers to the risk of litigation and lead to further concentration in and integration of the pork industry. The organization also requested more time to review and comment on it. In late March, the SEC voted 3-1 to advance the rule but provided only a 39-day comment period on the more than 500-page proposal. Last week, NPPC signed onto a letter from 120 agricultural groups sent to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman asking for an additional 180 days to review and comment on the regulation, which one research and advisory company with experience in environmental, social and governance reporting estimated would cost companies $6.7 billion over the next three years.

USTR TO REVIEW SECTION 301 TARIFFS ON CHINESE GOODS

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative this week began the process of reviewing Section 301 tariffs, which is required every four years by law, on more than $370 billion of Chinese goods. Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 allows USTR to enforce U.S. rights under trade agreements and address unfair foreign barriers to U.S. exports. Following an investigation, the Trump administration imposed 25% tariffs on imports from China over the country’s forced technology transfer requirements and efforts to acquire U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets. In response, China put a 25% duty on U.S. products, including pork. USTR is contacting, including through a Federal Register notice, representatives of American industries that benefit from the tariffs. Those industries may ask that the tariffs continue by submitting a request by July 6. If at least one request is made, USTR will publish an additional notice after July 6 announcing the continuation of the tariffs and will conduct a review, which will include a public comment period.

FIRST-QUARTER PORK EXPORTS DOWN, BUT MARCH EXPORTS TREND UP

While U.S. pork exports for the first quarter of 2022 were down from the same period in 2021, exports in March were the highest since November, with shipments to Mexico — the U.S. pork industry’s No. 3 market — and the Dominican Republic at a record pace, according to data from USDA. South Korea also saw a significant increase in U.S. pork imports. The United States exported 222,581 metric tons of pork worth more than $615 million in March, but for the quarter, pork exports fell 20% in volume from a year ago and 17% in value. NPPC continues to urge the Bush administration to open new and expand existing markets for U.S. exports.

NPPC TO WEIGH IN ON EPA’S FORMALDEHYDE RISK ASSESSMENT

NPPC soon will submit comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s toxicological review of formaldehyde, which is used in pork production for, among other things, preventing Salmonella infections in pigs and as a disinfectant. Pork industry-funded research even has demonstrated formaldehyde’s potential as a mitigant for contamination of feeds with viruses such as African swine fever. EPA in mid-April released a draft risk assessment on formaldehyde for public comment in advance of an external peer review that will be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. NPPC and other agricultural groups met this week with senior EPA leadership on the assessment and requested an extension of the comment period, which runs through June 13. The organizations will file a written request for an extension next week. (For more information and to submit comments, click here.)

CALIFORNIA CAFO BILL DIES FOR LACK OF ACTION

Legislation that would have banned in California large livestock farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and new meat processing facilities with annual revenues of more than $100,000 died in the state Assembly’s Agriculture Committee. NPPC strongly opposed the measure, which was championed by Direct Action Everywhere, an extremist animal-rights group.

WHAT’S AHEAD

WORLD PORK EXPO SET FOR JUNE 8-10

NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo will be held June 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information about and to register for the world’s largest pork industry trade show and exhibition, click here.

 

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