ASA Top Legislative and Regulatory Priorities (December 2016)

Click here to download one-page PDF of top priorities. 


(December 2016)

Trade Expansion (Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees, Agriculture Committees)

a.Work with the New Administration and Congress to ensure continued positive trade with China and NAFTA partners. Provide insight and assistance during any renegotiation of current trade agreements.

b.Work to revise the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as needed to ensure enactment in 2017.

c.Support legislative efforts to remove barriers to trade with Cuba, including ending the embargo.

d.Improve the timeliness and predictability of regulatory approvals for new biotech traits by China and the EU, including a comprehensive agreement for agriculture within the TTIP negotiations.

e.Develop low-level presence (LLP) policies that facilitate trade and innovation in biotech products.

f.Support increased funding for the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Access Program.g.Support global food security provisions in the next farm bill that provide USDA and the U.S. agriculture industry a central role in developing and implementing international agricultural development programs.

Tax Reform (Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees)

Ensure that comprehensive tax reform efforts provide appropriate framework and address priorities for farmers and farm operations

Biodiesel Demand (EPA; Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees)

a.Extend the biodiesel tax incentive in 2017 Tax Reform legislationand shift it from a blender to a production credit.

b.Seek appropriate implementation and enforcement of RFS and WTO requirements for imported biodiesel.

Transportation and Infrastructure (Senate Environment & Public Works Committee and Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Appropriations Committees)

a. Ensure agricultural industry priorities, such as upgrades to locks and dams, ports, and harbors are included in any potential large-scale infrastructure funding initiatives.

b.Continue to increase funding for programs and projects supporting and upgrading infrastructure for inland waterways and ports, and harbor maintenance.

Environmental Regulations (EPA, USDA and multiple committees of jurisdiction)

a. Support Congressional efforts to abolish the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule.

b. Support efforts to improve pollinator habitat; oppose efforts to ban neonicotinoid crop protection products.

c. Support funding for voluntary, incentive-based programs to achieve water quality and environmental goals.d.Ensure that decisions on crop protection products are based on science and the value to crop production, as well as follow established timelines and procedures.

Farm Bill (Agriculture Committees)

Work with Congress to begin work on 2018 Farm Bill. For 2014 Farm Bill implementation, for counties that do not have published NASS yields, support using adjacent and/or comparable NASS county yields in determining payments under the county ARC (ARC-CO) program for 2016 and later crops.

Biotech and Food Regulations (USDA, FDA, and multiple committees of jurisdiction)

a.Work with USDA to ensure that the Final Rule for implementing the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act excludes products that are derived through new plant breeding techniques from being labeled as biotech.

b.Work to develop and implement regulatory reforms that:(1) enhance the timeliness of biotech trait approvals and companion herbicides without disrupting foreign market approvals or U.S. agricultural exports; and (2) do not require pre-market approvals for new plant breeding techniques (a.k.a. gene editing).

FY-2017Budget and Appropriations (Agriculture and Appropriations Committees)

Protect funding for crop insurance, export market development programs (FMD and MAP), food aid, agriculture research, conservation practices on working lands, and Inland Waterways and Harbor Maintenance Trust Funds.

Aquaculture (NOAA; Senate Commerce and House Natural Resources Committees)

Support implementation of NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Plan to develop an environmentally sound and economically sustainable aquaculture fishery.