What’s Stalling the USMCA?

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts, USMCA

After months of renegotiation talks, trade representatives revealed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is poised to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, there have been changes in Washington, D.C., following the general election that may stall the USMCA. Bill Lane, executive director of Trade for America, briefly discussed this issue during his presentation at the recent …

How Changes in D.C. Will Impact Ag

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts

Changes are happening in Washington, D.C., and some of them will impact agriculture. Robert Redding, an agricultural lobbyist, discussed these changes during the recent Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia. Bob Goodlatte, former House representative, has retired, thus vacating his seat as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “He (Goodlatte) was a leader on ag labor reform,” …

agriculture

Agriculture Chairman Seeks State Hemp Program

Dan Cooper Hemp, Legislative

With officials seeing a potentially lucrative industry, Senate Agriculture Chairman Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, is proposing creation of a state hemp program. Albritton on Thursday filed a bill that would set up the program under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill came after Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried last week named Holly Bell as the state’s first director …

U.S. to Withdraw from Tomato Suspension Agreement

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Tomatoes, Top Posts

The Department of Commerce recently announced that the United States will be withdrawing from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico beginning May 7. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated in a statement that the decision is a result of complaints from American tomato growers that their prices are being undercut by imports. The 6-year-old agreement prevented an anti-dumping investigation …

GFVGA Keeping an Eye on D.C.

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts

This year, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) will be focusing on crucial legislation in Washington, D.C. Charles Hall, GFVGA executive director, says the two pieces of legislation the association will be focusing on the most are the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and disaster relief. Hall says he is worried about the USMCA and is going to spend a …

federal

Federal Government Reopens for Now

Dan Cooper Business, Legislative

After a month-long shutdown, the federal government reopens officially for three weeks following an announcement from President Donald Trump. The 800,000 federal workers who have been on furlough will be receiving back pay for the days that offices were closed due to the shutdown. The funding will keep the government running until Feb. 15. “I am very proud to announce …

Florida Legislators Discuss Ag Issues

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts

By Gary Cooper Red tide, blue-green algae, hemp and hurricanes were among the items discussed in recent days during legislative committee meetings in Tallahassee, Florida. Lawmakers and state officials are getting down to business and looking forward to the start of the legislative session in early March. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Tuesday gave senate agriculture committee members a status …

State Block Grants Needed for 2018 Hurricane Recovery

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts, Weather

The 2018 hurricanes cost several southeastern growers millions of dollars in lost production. Now, those growers are looking for federal dollars to help them recoup their losses from hurricanes like Florence and Michael. However, according to Robert Redding, an agricultural lobbyist in Washington, D.C., grants on the state level are imperative for vegetable and specialty crop growers. Redding believes growers …