For the Week Ending July 22, 2016

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GOP PLATFORM CRITICAL OF GMO LABELING, ‘GIPSA’ RULE, ‘WOTUS’ REGULATION, EPA

The Republican Party platform cobbled together and unveiled at the GOP presidential convention in Cleveland touches on a number of agricultural issues. Among other things, the 58-page document urges Congress to remove the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – food stamps – from the Farm Bill. More than 75 percent of Farm Bill funding goes to SNAP. The platform also opposes mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Congress last week approved legislation requiring such labeling as a way to avoid a patchwork of 50 state GMO-labeling laws. It also calls for a “fundamental restructuring of the regulatory process,” citing the pending “draconian” rules on the buying and selling of livestock and poultry – the so-called GIPSA Rule – from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. The platform calls the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule a “travesty” that will micro-manage and over regulate “puddles and ditches on farms, ranches and other privately-held property.” The document proposes eliminating EPA in its current form. Dropped from the 2016 platform was any mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. A draft document urged Congress not to “rush” passage of the 12-nation TPP deal; the final platform simply states that “significant trade decisions” should not be rushed. (The 2012 GOP platform said a Republican president should finish the trade talks begun in 2008 “to open rapidly developing Asian markets to U.S. products.”)

 

JAPAN LOOKING TO APPROVE TPP THIS FALL, DOESN’T WANT TO RENEGOTIATE DEAL

While the Republican Party may have cooled on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump wants to renegotiate the deal, Japan is forging ahead on the 12-country Asia-Pacific agreement. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who’s Liberal Democratic Party recently secured a majority in the upper house of Japan’s legislature, is working to get the Diet to ratify the TPP this fall. Japan is not interested in re-working the deal. “Renegotiation is impossible because there is a delicate balance,” Atsuyuki Oike, deputy chief of mission at Japan’s U.S. embassy, recently told reporters at a National Foreign Trade Council briefing on the agreement. The TPP, negotiations on which were initiated in late 2008 and concluded last October, is a regional trade deal that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. The trade agreement is strongly supported by NPPC, which is urging Congress to approve the deal soon.

 

AGRICULTURE GROUPS COMMENT ON FDA RISK ASSESSMENT ON MANURE USE

NPPC this week joined eight other agricultural groups in submitting comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its proposal to conduct a risk assessment of foodborne illnesses associated with pathogens found in manure applied to land on which produce is grown. The risk assessment could lead to regulation of manure use. The groups expressed concern that if FDA doesn’t have current and emerging scientific research and doesn’t consider existing conservation and environmental standards, its decisions on manure use could adversely affect animal agriculture. They also suggested that FDA consider including expert stakeholders from the animal agriculture community in its “summit” meeting planned for next year, which would “prove invaluable in providing a necessary perspective and informing the risk assessment.” (Click here to read the comments.)

 

OBAMA, MEXICAN PRESIDENT PENA NIETO MEET IN WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama today hosted Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House. The pair met last month with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of the North American Leaders Summit, which included discussions on trade. The United States is Mexico’s primary trade partner and announced that it seeks to “deepen the strategic partnership between the countries.” The meeting comes as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said, if elected, he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Canada and Mexico. NPPC was a strong supporter of NAFTA.

 

WHAT’S AHEAD

 

CONGRESS OUT UNTIL AFTER LABOR DAY

Congress is on recess until after Labor Day. Over the next seven weeks, Capital Update will be published on an as-needed basis.

 

 

For questions, comments and suggestions or to subscribe, contact: Dave Warner, Director of Communications, NPPC, at (202) 347-3600, or via e-mail at warnerd@nppc.org.

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