Pork

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina farmers are among those warily watching a new trade dispute between the United States and allies in North America and Europe.

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's farmers are nervous. As an all-out trade war with China looms on the horizon, it's North Carolina's agriculture industry that could bear the brunt.

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

China's tariffs on American goods could dip into North Carolina's pork exports.

A picture of a hand holding a camcorder.
Peripitus / Wikipedia

A bill passed by the state legislature would allow business owners to sue employees who secretly record proceedings in the workplace or gain access to documents.

The Property Protection Act offer recourse against corporate espionage and organized retail theft. It would allow employers to sue for punitive damages of up to $5,000 per day.

The North Carolina Farm Bureau's Jake Parker says it would help protect pork and poultry producers from misrepresentation by animal rights activists working undercover at local operations.

Pigs just before auction, hogs,
Chris Cioffi

North Carolina's pig industry is under assault. A new virus, that just arrived in America last spring is spreading through the pork population, causing as much as 2% of the herd to die. What's most alarming is how fast Porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, takes hold.

"I mean you can go in and see a house that looks completely normal, running around, feeding everything. You can come back this afternoon and half the pigs are dead," said Dr. Tom Ray of the state veterinary office.

Smithfield Foods
MPR

Pork processor Smithfield Foods has officially been sold.  It is reportedly the largest purchase ever of a US company by a Chinese company.

Today 96% of Smithfield Foods shareholders voted to sell the pork processor to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong.  The deal is worth $7.1 billion.