The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act has been introduced by GOP Congressman Mike Pompeo. On this week's edition of Open Mic, the Kansas 4th District Representative discusses a national voluntary labeling program that balances the consumer's right to know what's in the food they eat with the industry's need to embrace technology to satisfy the world's growing demand for food. He also talks about the EPA's proposed rule on waters of the U.S.
Our guest on Open Mic this week is Jim Walker, Vice President of Case IH North America Agricultural Division. Ag equipment manufacturers were able to overcome the costs of research and development to meet Tier 4 emission standards during an upswing in crop prices and net farm income. Now with discussion of Tier 5 standards, Walker believes legislators should measure the costs and incremental benefits of even tighter emission standards. Walker says a more predictable tax code and relief from estate taxes would help farmers and the agriculture equipment industry weather the downturn in commodity prices.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts is featured on this Agriculture Week edition of Open Mic. As an overseer of ag policy, Roberts plans upcoming hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the U.S. definition, Cuban trade policy, and crop insurance. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Roberts is working toward possible revisions of the US tax code as well as Trade Promotion Authority for the Obama Administration. Listen in to learn more.
Our guest on Open Mic is National Farmers Union President, Roger Johnson. As the group prepares for their 2015 convention, Johnson shares his support for current farm bill and opposes any attempt to return to open policy debate. NFU members oppose Trade Promotion Authority for the Obama Administration, but support liberalizing trade with Cuba. Johnson and the NFU are strong supporters of Country of Origin Labeling policy and don't believe Canadian trade retaliation is imminent. The NFU stepped away from the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group and Johnson says he's certain the NFU won't support the current memorandum of understanding being circulated by the group.
In this week’s Open Mic, Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, provides an update on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPA) negotiations, as well as the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks. Vetter says the nation’s agriculture industry cannot afford to be isolated from the other ninety-five percent of the globe’s population or growth in its middle class. Support from farmers and ranchers will be crucial in advancing an ambitious trade agenda, she adds.
The legislative effort to end the US Trade Embargo with Cuba has begun with bipartisan legislation introduced by Minnesota's senior U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. The 'Freedom to Export to Cuba' bill would eliminate the trade embargo in place for more than 50 years. In this week's Open Mic, Sen. Klobuchar explains why policy changes in Cuba and the construction of a new port facility make the time right to turn the page on U.S. trade policy toward the communist island nation.