NCBA's Craig Uden Starting to See a Light at the End of the Tunnel on Trade, EPA and Tax PolicyMon, 09 Oct 2017 15:51:07 CDT
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays is on location this week at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association Convention in Amarillo, and had the chance to speak with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Nebraska cattle producer Craig Uden, about a variety of issues currently facing the cattle industry from a national perspective. You can hear their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Obviously, one of the most prominent things on the national scene is the trade situation. President Trump has been very vocal about his disapproval of current trade agreements as they exist having gone so far as to even bring the arguably very successful North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, under review for renegotiation - currently ongoing. Talks are even circulating that a final deal on that treaty may be pushed back until after the mid-term elections. And, as of late, President Trump has made threats to withdraw the US from its free-trade agreement with South Korea. Since pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and promising bilateral agreements with our potential trading partners, Uden says Trump and his administration have created a lot of uncertainty for the agriculture industry, that relies increasingly on international commerce.
“When President Trump came out and talked about just dropping the free-trade agreement with Korea, we pushed back pretty hard,” Uden said. “We can’t afford to lose and step back on Korea. That’s become our second largest trading partner with about $1 billion worth of trade.”
Trade has become vital for the industry, and Uden insists the future of the cattle business relies on its continued success. This year, US beef exports have performed exceptionally well, thanks to the availability and quality of product currently being produced here he says - compared to some of our competitors who have struggled with drought and other setbacks. However, as they come back on line, Uden says the US needs to be prepared to protect the gains that have been made in their market absence. Something he says is the administration is gradually doing and also something the NCBA will continue to advocate for.
The repeal and replacement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule, has also been a major issue that NCBA has adamantly been following. Uden, is very complimentary of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and many of his fellow cabinet members who he says have all been steadfast in their promises to roll back many of the intrusive rules and regulations left behind from previous administrations.
“We continue to hear that is coming down the road,” he said. “It’s a very aggressive stance to get this thing turned over and fixed and we know that there will be a lot of challenges. But, hopefully we’ll start to see some of that movement here real soon, so it can be tackled by early next spring before we get into all the mid-term elections.”
And, when it comes to tax reform - Uden cautions that the devil will be in the details as policy leaders hash out their vision for America’s tax code.
“Right now, we’re asking for repeal of the Death Tax. We’re looking at stepped up basis - we’re asking for it all,” he said. “There’s a lot of moving parts. But, if you don’t ask, you don’t always receive. We hope we’ll soon see some of that movement we’ve been waiting for the last eight or nine months.”
Find out more about what else is happening in DC on these issue and others, according to Uden, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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