ASA Top Legislative and Regulatory Priorities (March 2017)

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

ASA LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY PRIORITIES

(July 2017)

2018 Farm Bill Priorities (Agriculture Committees)

Support the policy priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill adopted by ASA’s Voting Delegates (see attachment).

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

  1. Work with the Administration and Congress to ensure continued positive trade with China and NAFTA partners.Provide insight and assistance during renegotiations of current trade agreements.
  2. Enhance U.S. trade relations with Asia-Pacific countries, including through bilateral or multilateral agreements. c.      Support legislative efforts to remove barriers to trade with Cuba, including ending the embargo.
  3. 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.
  4. Develop low-level presence (LLP) policies that facilitate trade and innovation in biotech products.
  5. 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 tax reform efforts reflect the unique nature of farm operations, including: maintaining cash accounting method for farmers, allowing full and immediate expensing of capital investments, repealing estate tax or increasing exemption levels indexed for inflation, maintaining Section 1031 provision for Like-Kind exchanges, and extending and restructuring biodiesel tax credit.

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

  1. Support efforts to abolish the Waters of the U.S. proposed rul
  2. Support efforts to improve pollinator habitat; oppose efforts to ban neonicotinoid crop protection products.

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

  1. Work with USDA to ensure that the Final Rule for implementing the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard excludes products derived through plant breeding innovations from being labeled as biotec
  2. Support regulatory reforms that: (1) enhance the timelines of biotech trait approvals and companion herbicides without disrupting foreign market approvals or U.S. agricultural exports; and (2) do not require pre-market approval for products derived through plant breeding innovations (e.g., gene editing).
  3. Oppose efforts to restrict the branding and marketing of soymil

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

  1. Extend the biodiesel tax incentive in 2017 and shift it from a blender to a production credit. Urge co- sponsorship of S. 944 and H.R. 2383.
  2. Seek optimal levels of annual RFS volumes for biomass-based diesel and Advanced Biofuels, and appropriate 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)

  1. Ensure agricultural industry priorities, such as upgrades to locks and dams, ports, and harbors are included in any large-scale infrastructure funding initiative
  2. Continue to increase funding in annual Energy & Water appropriations bill for programs and projects supporting infrastructure for inland waterways, ports, and harbor maintenance.

FY-2018 Budget and Appropriations (Agriculture and Appropriations Committees)

Protect funding for crop insurance, export market development programs (FMD and MAP), food aid, pesticide programs, 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.

ASA Policy Priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill

  • ASA is working closely with other farm organizations to support a farm bill that will strengthen the farm safety net in order to offset the significant reductions in crop prices and farm income since 2013.
  • ASA opposes reducing premium subsidies or imposing means testing under the crop insurance program.
  • ASA supports keeping the farm/rural and nutrition titles of the next farm bill intact.
  • ASA supports reauthorizing ARC and PLC, and giving producers a choice to sign up for either program on a crop-by-crop and farm-by-farm basis.
  • ASA supports giving producers a choice between maintaining a farm’s current crop acreage bases, reallocating bases to reflect more recent plantings, or updating bases to include all acres planted to program crops.
  • ASA supports maintaining the current policy of “decoupling” for both the ARC and PLC programs under which payments are based on recent average plantings on base acres rather than on current-year planting.
  • ASA supports fixing the cotton program, including a new cottonseed program and decoupling generic (former cotton base) acres.
  • ASA supports full funding of AFRI and other agricultural research programs.
  • ASA supports full funding of the EQIP and CSP conservation programs.
  • ASA supports doubling funding for the FMD and MAP programs over the life of the next farm bill.
  • ASA supports authorizing and funding the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, the Biobased Market Program, and the Biodiesel Education Program.