(NAFB) – Expanding market access to Vietnam, visa reform to address a livestock agriculture labor shortage, and foreign animal disease prevention are the focus of the National Pork Producers Council’s Legislative Action Conference this week.

Pork producers from across the country are gathering virtually to address these and other issues with lawmakers.

NPPC President Jen Sorenson says, “Trade remains crucial to the continued success of the U.S. pork industry.”

Domestic pork consumption in Vietnam is greater than 2.5 million metric tons per year, more than Mexico, where the United States exported 688,252 Metric tons, valued at $1.1 billion in 2020. Last year, U.S. pork producers only exported 25,183 metric tons to Vietnam, valued at $54 million. Additionally, NPPC says current visa programs fail to meet the workforce needs of pork producers and other year-round livestock farmers.

NPPC is urging Congress to address labor reform that both opens the H-2A visa program to year-round labor, without a cap, and provides legal status for agricultural workers already in the country.