GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Times of Triumph with Plenty of Work Still To Do

Dawn Caldwell 1 month ago

Trade agreements have been made! President Trump has a trip to Iowa planned for next week to announce lifting the summer ban on E15. I just had to start this update with GOOD NEWS. There is not one person involved in agriculture that doesn’t understand the importance of exports bringing value to what we produce. Whether you are a grain farmer, vegetable farmer, dairy producer, or beef or pork producer, exports add significant value to the price you receive when you market your commodity or product.

As challenging of a time as we are in with grain markets, trade talks are beginning to come around with successful outcomes. We have renewed KORUS, continuing our free trade agreement with South Korea, a very long process with Mexico and Canada has resulted in what will be called USMCA, and now work with China can resume. In addition, we received news that the President is ready to begin talks with Japan – this may have been one of the most encouraging announcements in sometime! The U.S. is currently at a great disadvantage to Australia, as well as all countries in the TPP – we need a strong bi-lateral trade agreement with Japan, one of our largest export markets for agriculture products in order to stay competitive.

With the encouraging news on the trade front, we must accept that the 2014 Farm Bill expired without renewal. Disappointing. Secretary Perdue has assured us that everything that can be legally continued, will be. We have also had signs of positive progress with the four leaders holding a meeting in the basement of the Capitol and exiting from the meeting with arms linked, showing strength and a goal of unity. We must urge our Congressional leaders to complete the 2018 Farm Bill during the lame duck session. If you have questions as to what is included in the House or Senate versions of the bill or would like talking points to call your Senator or Congressman, please don’t hesitate to call or email me for information.

Livestock haulers have been allowed a 1-year extension regarding implementation of ELD’s. Bills have been introduced for consideration that would address the issue of animal welfare, allowing enough hours to get live animals and insects to their point of destination.  I have included information in the article listings below.

-Dawn Caldwell

Articles of Interest

With USMCA a wrap, trade focus returns to China

Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Rules

Nalivka: USMCA Completed And Asia Trade Looking Even Better

Trump plans Iowa visit next week to announce pro-ethanol measure -sources