Ag News

COVID-19 relief, African swine fever among NPPC’s top 2021 priorities

IARN — United States pork producers “experienced a tough year,” largely due to disruptions caused by coronavirus. The National Pork Producers Council continues to work hard on their behalf.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) unveiled its 2021 priorities, which range from African Swine Fever prevention to coronavirus relief. Nick Giordano, vice president and counsel, global government affairs, says, “At any rate, we’re going to advocate for producers, who unlike a lot of sectors of the economy, didn’t come into 2020 with strong economic winds to their backs.”

“There was a lot of optimism this time last year,” Giordano notes. “We got the 20-percent punitive metal tariffs in Mexico off, which was a huge NPPC priority. We got the trade deal with Japan done. We still had punitive tariffs on product going into China, but not as bad. Market analysts were predicting profits in 2020, then COVID hit and the floor came out.”

Giordano confesses, “It’s been tough for producers,” which is why the National Pork Producers Council will advocate for additional coronavirus relief.

“We appreciate what the Congress did with the CARES Act, but those direct payments were uneven. We’ve been trying to get more producers covered; trying to get payments to producers who had to donate or euthanize animals.” Giordano says.

Giordano adds, “We’re not just advocating for COVID-19 (relief), but trade and keeping African Swine Fever out of the country. We’re focused on ASF, ASF, and ASF.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Photo courtesy of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)