The House Ag Committee’s livestock subcommittee is holding a series of hearings this week on the livestock economy. One thing of particular concern to pork producers is the proposed USDA rule that relate to buying and selling of livestock. USDA is re-proposing parts of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration Rule, which was proposed in 2010 to implement parts of the 2008 Farm Bill. The regulations went well beyond what was proposed in the Farm Bill and would have a significant impact on the livestock industry. An Informa Economics study in 2010 found it would cost the pork industry more than $330 million annually. In the past, Congress included riders in USDA funding bills to prevent finalizing the rule, but no such rider exists in the 2017 funding bill. In other testimony, NPPC reiterated its support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, telling the committee the benefits of TPP will exceed all past free trade agreements and represent a great opportunity for the pork industry.
A spokeswoman for Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration finds opposition to the GIPSA rule “unacceptable.” The administration said the rule is designed to ensure fair treatment to livestock and poultry producers. Opposition to the rule was heard during testimony at a House Ag subcommittee hearing. North Carolina Republican Representative David Rouzer said, “It remains unclear why Secretary Vilsack decided to move forward with these costly regulations.” However, the spokeswoman said the recent GIPSA riders in past USDA funding bills represent “a complete lack of concern for hardworking families. The focus should be on providing a fair marketplace and level playing field for farm families.”
Source: NAFB News Service