With Tax Reform, Trade Negotiations Underway NCBA President-Elect Talks Where to Go from HereThu, 11 Jan 2018 10:31:49 CST
Aside from speaking with several leaders within the American Farm Bureau Federation during the organization’s national convention this week, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays also spoke with other industry leaders, including the president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Kevin Kester, a cattle producer from California. He outlined some of the key issues the members of his organization will be discussing during their annual meeting scheduled for later this month.
“Two big things - we’ve got the tax reform package passed and signed into law. We’ve got a bunch of good stuff in that package that help the cattle and beef industry in particular,” he said. “And, then we have a whole bunch of trade stuff going on that we have to keep our eyes on.”
In regards to tax reform, Kester says one of the key points is that the exemption of the unpopular estate tax was doubled in this package, but only for eight years before the provision sunsets. NCBA had hoped to make that a permanent fixture in this legislation, but Kester says they will take what they can get now and then continue to work on making it permanent or kill the tax entirely before it is reinstated to its original parameters. On trade, NAFTA modernization is of course top of mind. Talks to renegotiate KORUS and a bilateral agreement with Japan are also anticipated in the near future, Kester says. All of which he says are vitally important to sustaining the health of our export market and indirectly our domestic markets as well, as the industry faces increased competition from other proteins and greater beef production in 2018, too. Overall, though, Kester says despite all the challenges we have seen, producers have remained high-spirited.
“The mood of the ship is surprisingly very optimistic,” Kester said. “All of last year, prices stayed strong; demand stayed stronger domestically. I expect ’18 will even make more improvements. So, we’ll have to watch what the prices are, but for right now everybody is in a pretty happy mood.”
Listen to Kester and Hays discuss his priority issues for the beef industry ahead of the NCBA National Convention, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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