How African Swine Fever Could Be Disastrous to U.S. Trade [VIDEO]

Gina Tumbarello, senior director of International Policy & Trade for the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), sits down with Feed & Grain to discuss her upcoming talks at this year's International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA.

The trade expert first speaks at the Pet Food Conference about export trends and how China's pet food demand is growing.

Next, Tumbarello will give a TECHTalk on African Swine Fever (ASF) and the disastrous consequences it will have on the U.S. feed trade if the virus is found in the U.S.


Gina Tumbarello
Hi, I'm Gina Tumbarello. I'm the Senior Director of International Policy and trade at the American Feed Industry Association. I work to ensure that our industry has access to international markets continuing to allow them to be competitive and successful.

Feed & Grain

What topics are you speaking on at IPPE this year? Can you tell us about them?


I will be speaking at AFIA's Pet Food Conference on what AFIA is doing on behalf of the pet food industry to support export efforts. I will be talking about some export trends over this past year and a little bit about this new administration, which isn't quite new anymore, but how their trade agenda has shifted from the previous administration and that effect on pet food exports.

I will also be covering some of the more recent challenges and opportunities that we're seeing for pet food exports. I will also be speaking at a TECHTalk about the risk to U.S. animal food exports if the U.S. were to get an outbreak of African Swine Fever.


How big of a risk is ASF to U.S. trade? And what could happen if it gets here?


What a lot of people don't know is that currently, nearly all U.S. animal-based products are exported on a 16 Dashboard Health Certificate. If African Swine Fever were to come to the United States, this would be a problem because that health certificate states that the U.S. is free of African Swine Fever.

As it stands, if there is that outbreak, none of these animal-based products, and all these feed products will be able to be exported. That's a pretty big issue for our industry and something that is at the forefront of our mind as we work with our industry to address that challenge.


Are there any particular trends in pet food exports you found interesting that attendees will be learning about?


I actually just went through some recent trade numbers. Unfortunately, last year's trade numbers only go through November, but it does give us a pretty good idea of what's happening. One thing that I found was really interesting is US pet food exports to China continue to increase. And we've started seeing this trend when the U.S. and China implemented their Phase One agreement. And so just in the last year, in taking into consideration, we don't have all of last year's data yet.

There was 113% increase in US exports to China, which is pretty significant. But if we look back to when the agreement went into place, between then and now it's actually 981% increase in US exports to China. So it's not our biggest market yet. But there is a lot of potential there.

The reason why this is so exciting is that's a very large increase. But that's also with new high tariffs that China has put on us pet food. So if there were a situation where we could get those new tariffs removed from US pet food exports to China, I imagine that that market would continue to flourish even more.


What are you most excited about at IPPE this year?


Honestly, I am just so excited to get on the convention floor and see our industry flourishing with the hustle and bustle of it all.