NCBA's Colin Woodall Optimistic Speaker Ryan Will Get More Work out of Congress This SpringWed, 27 Jan 2016 15:53:00 CST
The 2016 Cattle Industry Convention is underway in San Diego, California. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays is covering the event. One of the first people he ran into was Colin Woodall, lead lobbyist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the nation’s capital. One of the things he is tracking closely is what Congress is able to get done this election year. He thinks Congress will make some progress this year, despite what others might think.
“I think that’s really looking at what the speaker had laid out,” Woodall said. “Speaker Ryan has been very successful in his term and he has said that he is going to continue to work throughout the year. Specifically, he wants to work the Appropriations process through regular order. So, with that, I think he’s really going to hold these committees to holding hearings to actually moving bills, so they could work through the spring into the early summer. Now once they leave for the July recess, I think that’s probably it. But we could probably get some work out of them here in the spring.”
NCBA’s top priority is getting Congressional approval of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. While it’s not a perfect deal, Woodall said it’s important especially with Japan lowering the U.S. tariff from 38.5 percent down to nine percent. He said the U.S. needs to get something done as quickly as possible with the advantage that Australia has over the US with a ten percent tariff advantage in the most lucrative of beef export markets, Japan.
With an election year, a vote on the TPP agreement could be pushed back until after the November elections. Woodall said that’s not acceptable because U.S. cattle producers are already losing money each day without TPP. He is very concerned about some Republicans who appear to be reluctant in moving forward with a vote on TPP, not wanting to give President Obama a "win" in the trade arena in his final year as President.
"We do have a lot of friends in the Republican Party that have helped us on issues, but if that is a position they are taking, then they are hurting us directly,” Woodall said. “This President has been very forthcoming in his negotiations. He has worked with us, we have been able to work with him and we think he has done a great job on the Trans Pacific Partnership. So, if the Republicans are playing that kind of game, they need to understand they are taking money out of our pockets right now and that is just unfortunate and unacceptable to us.”
NCBA will also be watching policy on GMO labeling. Woodall said GMO labeling continues to be debated by the Senate and the House.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Colin Woodall on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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