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US pork industry seeks a seat at the table as global trade deals move forward

The latest Capitol Update from the NPPC looks at evolving trade deals.

2 March 2021, at 9:00am

US Department of Transportation extends hours of service waivers for livestock and feed

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended its COVID-19 emergency declaration for Hours of Service (HOS) waivers for the transportation of livestock and livestock feed through 31 May.

HOS governs the amount of time commercial truckers can drive their loads and when they are required to rest between drives. The agency had previously extended the waivers through 28 February. NPPC thanks the administration and FMCSA for ensuring the continuity of the US pork supply chain as an essential element of the nation’s food delivery infrastructure.

Thailand considers joining CPTPP

Thailand is expected to take the next three months to decide whether it should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the International Economic Policy Committee announced earlier this month. The committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai, will now review the findings of a nine-month internal study, which considered the costs and benefits of CPTPP membership.

The CPTPP includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, some of the world’s largest pork-consuming nations.

NPPC’s top priority this year is to build momentum for the United States to re-join CPTPP under this administration, providing significant, new market opportunities for US exporters.

Trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur could be fast-tracked

The EU and the South American Mercosur bloc are renewing talks to ratify their 2019 trade agreement and discussing a fast-track option to quickly put the deal in place. The trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur trade bloc (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) was completed in June 2019 and among other provisions, provided lower tariffs on a slew of agricultural commodities, including pork.

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The renewed talks come as French President Emmanuel Macron eased off previous criticism for the deal, provided that environmental commitments from the Mercosur bloc are adopted. Meantime, later this month the European Commission will launch sessions with member countries to discuss any newly considered content.