NPPC Alarmed About Ag Inspection Funding Shortfall
USAgNet - 06/29/2020
The National Pork Producers Council is leading a coalition of agriculture, trade and related groups to highlight the massive COVID-19-related funding shortfall for the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI), which plays a critical role in protecting U.S.
agriculture and the environment from plant and animal pests and diseases. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) collects the AQI user fees that pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture inspections.
These fees have fallen off dramatically due to the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic on international travel and cargo shipments. As user fee collections are not expected to rebound for the foreseeable future, it is estimated that APHIS' AQI user fee
reserve will only last through the end of FY 2020 and that FY 2021 funding will be short approximately $630 million.
To ensure the country is able to respond to animal health threats, such as African swine fever, NPPC is leading efforts to garner congressional support to ensure these vital agricultural inspections are fully funded and U.S. agriculture is protected.