American pork producers are facing the triple-whammy of declining income, a growing labor shortage, and volatile markets caused by trade disputes. They don’t also need to contend with costly red tape and unfunded mandates from Washington.
Those were key points in National Pork Producers Council testimony at a congressional hearing on impacts of regulations on small businesses and farmers. “Regulations add to the cost of doing business, and right now, pork producers don’t need more costs,” said NPPC Past President John Weber, an Iowa pork producer. “Because of trade disputes with China and Mexico and the tariffs they’ve put in place on American pork, hog farmers could lose up to $2 billion this year.”
Weber testified before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade, saying that pork producers have had to contend with many ill-conceived, burdensome, and costly regulations over the past decade. As examples, he pointed to regulations on the buying and selling of livestock, labeling meat, trucking, air emissions, clean water, antibiotic use, and organic livestock production.
NPPC written testimony says the administration and Congress have done a good job of reining in red tape, but Weber says, “more needs to be done.”