UPDATE: May, 18, 2018 The U.S. House of Representatives today failed to pass H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill). ASA President and Iowa soybean grower John Heisdorffer said the following: The Farm Bill matters…U.S. soybean growers and everyone involved in agriculture depend on this vital piece of legislation. This bill provides a farm safety net, improves conservation, places value on exports and feeds our nation.” The ASA calls on the House to continue to work towards passage of a Farm Bill this year to provide ‘certainty and stability’ for farmers.
Original post below:
The American Soybean Association (ASA), which you belong to as part of your membership in the Wisconsin Soybean Association, recently provides two legislative updates on issues affecting soy farmers.
What’s Up With The Proposed Tariffs?
The ASA also submitted comments on the proposed Section 301 tariffs to the United States Trade Representative during its 30-day ‘open comment’ period.
The ASA reiterated its concerns for soy growers created by the proposed tariff of 25% on imports US soybeans. China has indicated it will retaliate if the tariffs take force. The ASA noted that the tariffs “have already created uncertainty in the marketplace and threaten the long-standing work of the U.S. soy industry to establish and expand foreign markets for U.S. soybeans”.
As noted in an earlier post on Badgerbean, the long-term risk is that tariffs will encourage foreign competitors—such as Brazil, Argentina and even China itself—to increase production. An increased supply could lower prices for U.S. soybeans sold abroad.
What’s Up With the Farm Bill?
First, the ASA, joined over 300 agriculture related organizations on a letter to all House Members asking them to oppose all amendments that would jeopardize passage of the bill on the House floor.
There have been rumors that certain legislators who have a history of voting against farm bills will offer amendments that would “reduce the government’s share of the crop insurance premium, tighten Title 1 program payment limitations, and eliminate the sugar program”.
Another bloc of voters is posed to vote against the bill due to the tightening of SNAP (food stamp) eligibility requirements.
The pressure is on to find a solution because the current Farm Bill expires at the end of September. The window to find an answer is “narrowing, and will become even more difficult as the November mid-term elections approach”.
What Can You Do?
All Americans have the right to be heard by their elected representatives. If these issues cause you concern, it’s your right to speak up and your legislators know how you feel and why. (And keep an eye out for future legislative updates).
Here’s a list of whom to call:
Sen. Ron Johnson – ask for Meris Petek’s voice mail – 202-224-5323
Sen. Tammy Baldwin—ask for Colleene Thomas voice mail – 202-224-5653
Rep. Ron Kind – ask for Aaron White’s voice mail – 202- 225-5506
Rep. Sean Duffy – ask for Ryan McCormack’s voice mail – 202-225-3365
Rep. Mike Gallagher – ask for Matt Tucker’s voice mail – 202-225-5665
Rep. Paul Ryan – ask for Laura Wiley’s voice mail – 202-225-3031
Rep. Mark Pocan – ask for Syd Terry’s voice mail – 202-225-2906
Rep. Glen Grothman – ask for Chris Grawein’s voice mail – 202-225-2476
Rep. J. Sensenbrenner—ask for Jacob Perterson’s voice mail – 202-225-5101
To make your thoughts known to President Trump, email is the fastest method to reach the President according to whitehouse.gov. You can also call and leave a comment at 202-456-1111, or write him at The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500.