Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), this week sent a letter signed by 11 of his colleagues to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to follow through on his pledge to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of changes to livestock marketing regulations proposed by the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration. Vilsack pledged in a recent meeting with meat industry officials that USDA would conduct "a far more rigorous cost-benefit analysis" of the proposed GIPSA livestock rule.
It is estimated that the rule would cost the pork industry, alone, $333 million annually after an initial $69 million expense. The National Pork Producers Council, in comments filed last month, asked that GIPSA withdraw all portions of the proposed rule that went beyond the five issues Congress asked it to address:
Criteria for determining whether an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has been given to any producer.
Whether a poultry dealer has provided sufficient time for a grower to remedy a breach of contract that could result in contract termination.
Whether a poultry dealer has given reasonable notice of any suspension of delivery of birds to a grower under a contract.
When a requirement of additional capital investment during the life of a contract constitutes a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act as an unfair practice.
The factors that comprise a fair usage of arbitration, including notification and the option for producers to opt out of automatic arbitration to resolve disputes.
NPPC also requested a thorough analysis of the affect on pork producers of any new regulation. To view the Johanns letter here.