SUPREME COURT CONSIDERS WHETHER TO HEAR CASE AGAINST PROPOSITION 12
The U.S. Supreme Court today is holding a conference to decide whether to take the NPPC-American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) case challenging California’s Proposition 12, which bans the sale in California of pork from hogs born to sows raised anywhere in housing that does not meet the state’s arbitrary standards. Prop. 12 took effect Jan. 1. The NPPC-AFBF case, which argues that Prop. 12 violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, limiting states’ ability to regulate commerce outside their borders, was relisted from last week’s conference. An announcement from the high court on whether it will accept or reject hearing the case is expected on Tuesday.

INDIA OPENS MARKET TO U.S. PORK
After 20 years of trying to open the market, NPPC this week saw its efforts rewarded when India reached an agreement with the United States to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products into the world’s second-most populous nation. India, which had a de facto ban on U.S. pork, has a population of 1.26 billion, meaning the potential market opportunity is significant. The agreement sets the stage for larger trade discussions. In June 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative terminated India’s participation in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which provides developing countries beneficial access to the U.S. market. USTR took that action because India did not provide equitable and reasonable U.S. access to its markets, including for U.S. pork. Getting access to the Indian market has been one of NPPC’s top trade priorities for the past two decades.

ECUADOR APPLIES TO JOIN CPTPP
Ecuador is the latest country applying to join the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). A year ago, the United Kingdom asked to join the multilateral trade pact, and China and Taiwan filed applications in September. South Korea also has expressed interest in joining. The CPTPP includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which comprise about 500 million consumers and 13.5 percent of world GDP and are some of the world’s largest pork-consuming nations. NPPC has been urging successive administrations to become part of the agreement. The United States was part of the trade pact’s predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which NPPC strongly supported, but the Trump administration withdrew from the deal before it was finalized.

U.S. SAUSAGE, SIMILAR PRODUCTS NOW CAN BE EXPORTED TO NIGERIA
Nigeria this week announced it is partially opening its market to U.S. pork, allowing imports of sausage and similar products. NPPC welcomed the move by the West African nation and thanked USDA and the government of Nigeria for their efforts to reach an export agreement. While other U.S. pork products – and beef and poultry – remain ineligible to be exported to Nigeria, NPPC, which has been working for several years to open the Nigerian market, is optimistic that the country’s partial opening will lead to more access for U.S. pork.

FDA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING ON SAFETY OF CARBADOX
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week announced it will hold a virtual public hearing March 10 on the safety of carbadox, an animal health product used in hog feed to control bacterial diseases such as Salmonella and swine dysentery. (See the Federal Register notice here.) FDA is seeking input on the benefits of carbadox, as well as scientific data and information on its safety and possible carcinogenic residues of it in swine tissue. NPPC in September 2020 submitted comments to FDA urging the agency to develop a new residue test for carbadox rather than pull it from the market, noting that the animal drug “has been effectively used by most pork producers for decades to support animal health.” Producers adhere to FDA’s 42-day withdrawal period for carbadox, said NPPC, which also pointed out that since the drug mainly is used in nursery pigs, the withdrawal period is likely 60 days or more. (To register for the hearing by the March 9 deadline, click here.)

APHIS INCREASES HOLD TIME FOR INTERNATIONAL ‘REGULATED GARBAGE’
To safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from foreign animal diseases and invasive pests, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) requires waste from international flights and ocean-going cruise and cargo ships that potentially contains food or plant materials be collected, held and treated or incinerated. Effective Jan. 3, the agency is allowing the biosecure facilities that handle “regulated garbage” to hold it – in tightly sealed, leak-proof containers – for up to 120 hours. Prior to that, such garbage had to be processed to inactivate possible pathogens and pests within 72 hours. The facilities handling regulated garbage do so under compliance agreements with and overseen by APHIS or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under its Plant Protection and Quarantine program, APHIS, along with CBP, this year during routine compliance monitoring checks will revise facilities’ existing compliance agreements to document the new hold time.

WHAT’S AHEAD

NPPC’s ZIEBA TO SPEAK AT INTERNATIONAL TRADE CONFERENCE
NPPC Assistant Vice President of International Affairs Maria Zieba will speak on trade issues at the Washington International Trade Association’s 2022 conference, which will be held 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 31 and 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 1. With the theme “Managing a New Era in Trade,” the virtual event will look at, among other topics, multilateral trade, U.S.-China trade, supply chain disruptions and the Biden administration’s trade agenda. In addition to Zieba, among other scheduled speakers are the ambassadors to the United States from Canada, the European Union and Japan and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. NPPC is a sponsor of the event. (For more information on and to purchase tickets for the conference, click here.)