The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) says they are ready to play offense in 2020. 
“They say defense wins championships,” says David Herring, NPPC president and a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “Frankly, when it comes to trade, we’re tired of playing defense and hope 2020 is a year of progress and a strong offensive performance.”
NPPC was pleased with last week’s announcement of a phase one trade deal with China that will reportedly benefit U.S. pork and looks forward to learning more of the details, Herring says. 
“China represents an unparalleled opportunity for U.S. pork producers to provide the highest quality and most affordable pork in the world. It’s no secret that China needs reliable, affordable sources of pork. No source is better positioned to meet this need than American hog farmers,” he adds.
Nick Giordano, NPPC vice president and counsel, global government affairs, says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer indicated that the U.S. is going to play some offense both with the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“That’s really welcome news for producers,” Giordano says. “We really ship very little pork to Europe both because of tariffs and non-tariff measures. This is a constant theme across U.S. agriculture so we’re looking forward to FTA negotiations with the United Kingdom.”
Beyond the United Kingdom and the EU, NPPC has identified a number of countries, most of which are in Southeast Asia, where U.S. pork stands to benefit. Giordano notes Vietnam and the Philippines but says there is a whole list of opportunities. 
As 2020 approaches, NPPC revealed its top eight priorities:
  • Implementation of the USMCA and Japan trade agreements.
  • Gain unrestricted market access in China to address its need for affordable pork. 
  • Play offense on trade by expanding export opportunities in The Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. 
  • Continue prevention efforts for ASF and other foreign animal diseases. 
  • Establish regulatory oversight of gene-edited livestock with the USDA. 
  • Find a solution for livestock agriculture’s labor shortage. 
  • Advance our legal challenge of California’s Proposition 12. 
  • Reauthorize the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act.
“I am confident that NPPC will successfully face these and other issues of importance for U.S. pork,” Herring says.
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NPPC: Ready to Play Offense in 2020