NPPC lobbying targets tax reform and Philippine pork imports

In the most recent Capitol Update, the NPPC outlines its latest lobbying efforts for the US pork and agriculture sector.

21 May 2021, at 7:53am

Tax Aggie Coalition urges tax protection for family farms

NPPC, through its membership in the Tax Aggie Coalition, sent a letter to congressional leadership reiterating that any tax reform needs to have built-in protections for family-owned farms.

“As Congress turns its attention to making investments in our nation’s infrastructure and human resources, we urge you not to alter or eliminate long-standing tax code provisions that are fundamental to the financial health of production agriculture and the businesses that supply its inputs, transport its products, and market its commodities,” the letter explained.

The letter focused primarily on the current proposal to eliminate the step-up-in-basis and impose capital gains taxes at death. These proposals have gained significant traction in recent weeks as the Biden administration proposed such measures to pay for upcoming infrastructure investment, with few details on how farms will be exempted. The letter also emphasized coalition support for maintaining Section 199A deductions and “like-kind exchange” provisions as key to maintaining profitability amongst farm operations. Click here to read more about Biden’s tax and infrastructure proposal. Click here to read the coalition’s letter.

Philippines reduces pork import minimum access volume

To combat rising pork prices and stabilize supplies, the Philippine government announced last month it would provide more market access for pork imports. Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order reducing the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork imports from 404,210 metric tonnes (MT) to 254,210 MT. The decision was prompted by concerns from local pork producers, upset with the quota increase. An executive order could also be signed that increases the tariffs—which were reduced last month—by 5%.

Under the previously announced tariffs for imported pork under the MAV, those are reduced for 12 months, from 30% to 5% for the first three months, and then 10% thereafter. Tariffs for imported pork above the MAV are reduced for twelve months from 40% to 15% for the next three months, and then increase to 20% thereafter.

Securing better access to the Philippines market has been a top, long-term trade priority for NPPC. The Philippines has been battling African swine fever (ASF) since 2019 and NPPC has been pressing both the US and Philippines governments to lower pork import tariffs since ASF outbreaks began in the country.

Thailand delays decision on whether to join CPTPP

Thailand’s International Economic Policy Committee announced it will need an additional 50 days—until June 25—to decide whether the country should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Even if a decision is made, the government still has several more steps in the process, making it unlikely the country would submit its official request this year. The government had previously set a May deadline for deciding whether to join.

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 continues to advocate for Thailand to eliminate its de facto ban on US pork. In 2018, NPPC petitioned the US Trade Representative (USTR) to review Thailand’s US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility, which provides developing nations with favorable access to the US market.

In November 2020, USTR announced it was suspending $817 million in trade preferences for the country because it hadn’t made sufficient progress providing the United States with “equitable and reasonable market access” for pork products.