NCBA's Kent Bacus Talks Taxes, Trade and the Need for TPPMon, 01 Feb 2016 19:05:21 CST
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has been battling Congressional members over the nation’s ever-changing tax code. In December 2015, Congress passed a one year extension for Section 179 expensing. That left producers with only days to take advantage of the tax breaks. NCBA’s Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus said farmers and ranchers should not have to wait until the end of the year to make major investments. These are typically expensive purchases, like farm equipment and pickups. NCBA has wanted permanency in tax code for several years and they were excited to get Congress looking at permanency for Section 179 of the tax code. The bill also included five years of bonus depreciation, so Bacus is hopeful that could be made permanent as well.
“I think the biggest victory out of this is the fact that section 179 is permanent, so we no longer have that uncertainty,” Bacus said. “That’s good because now we can start making those five and ten year business plans and have the necessary financing and investment that we need to expand.”
In getting these provisions passed, Bacus said it was important to note there was unified support by agriculture. There was over 40 different associations representing all aspects of agriculture from livestock, to row crops and specialty crops that wanted more certainty in the nation’s tax code. He said this is a prime example of what can happen when agriculture is united, instead of divided.
NCBA also celebrated several victories in international trade in 2015. This included renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the conclusion of the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with repeal of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Bacus said these were all major trade agenda items that came to fruition last year. For 2016, TPP will be the top priority of NCBA. All of the TPP countries will be meeting in New Zealand to sign the final trade agreement in the near future. If Congress fails to act in 2016, Bacus said it could be a year or more before there is action on TPP. He believes this has economic implications, but also larger geopolitical problems.
A report released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) says the agreement will increase “annual real incomes” in the U.S. by $131 billion by 2030. The Peterson report also warns that delaying implementation by just one year would represent a $77 billion permanent loss to the U.S. economy by giving up gains that compound over time. Delay also would jeopardize other trade deals, such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union. Bacus encouraged cattlemen to visit the website tppnow.com and look at the cost of delay of implementation of TPP to the beef industry.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Bacus at the Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the interview.
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