There are many issues in the nation's capital that keep the attention of the National Pork Producers Council. Here’s a brief recap of a few of those items.

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NPPC keeps tabs on many issues on Capitol Hill
Getty Images/Mark Wilson

Here’s a recap of some issues that face pork producers that the National Pork Producers Council has been keeping an eye on this week.

Senate lawmakers this week proposed a legislative fix for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s Section 199A, a provision that grants farmers a larger tax deduction if they sell their agricultural products to cooperatives, leaving independently owned buyers at a disadvantage.

The proposal — retroactive to Jan. 1 — would restore the Section 199 domestic production activities deduction designed to serve as both a domestic production and jobs creation incentive. That provision was repealed as part of the Trump tax reform plan approved in December. National Pork Producers Council, along with other agricultural organizations, last year urged members of Congress to maintain the Section 199 DPAD, stressing its ability to provide support for rural communities and lower the tax burden for farmers. The NPPC has commended lawmakers for their efforts to provide a fix to Section 199A and is urging Congress to pass a legislative solution that provides support for free market competition and ensures a level playing field for all market participants.

House committee looks to advance ADUFA reauthorization
The House Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee met this week to discuss reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (AGDUFA). Set to expire Sept. 30, both grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permission to collect fees from the makers of new animal drugs, including generic animal drugs, which are used to support the agency’s approval and market introduction programs.

Senate and House bipartisan draft reauthorization legislation includes a requirement that all requests for new animal drugs be submitted electronically beginning Oct. 1. Steven Solomon, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, testified before the subcommittee and affirmed the agency’s objective to work with Congress to advance the legislation. The NPPC supports the reauthorization of ADUFA and AGDUFA, which are crucial for ensuring that animal health, human health and food safety are protected. Failure to renew the laws by the deadline will result in a major disruption for the livestock production industry.

Canada, Mercosur announce decision to negotiate trade deal
Canada and the South American trade bloc Mercosur, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, this week announced their intent to negotiate a free trade agreement. The negotiations will begin on March 20 in Ottawa, Canada. NPPC is urging the Trump administration to initiate free trade negotiations to expand export opportunities for U.S. pork.

Farmers for Free Trade urges Trump to uphold trade agreements
Farmers for Free Trade, a coalition launched late last year dedicated to supporting and expanding export opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers, released a television ad this week, calling on President Trump to preserve free trade policies that support American farmers. The effort came following the signing by 11 Pacific Rim countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership — the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership, without the United States — last week and as concerns mount over potential trade retaliation from planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The NPPC, a member of the coalition’s steering committee, continues to urge the Trump administration to preserve and expand free trade agreements that support export opportunities for U.S. pork.

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