ASA Top Legislative and Regulatory Priorities

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


2018 Farm Bill Priorities (Agriculture Committees)

Support 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. Ensure continued positive trade with China and NAFTA partners. Provide insight and assistance during renegotiations of current trade agreements to ensure that current access is maintained and improved.
  2. Enhance U.S. trade relations with Asia-Pacific countries by initiating bilateral or multilateral agreements.
  3. Support legislative efforts to remove barriers to trade with Cuba, including ending the embargo.
  4. Improve the timeliness and predictability of regulatory approvals for new biotech traits by China and the EU. e.   Develop low-level presence (LLP) policies that facilitate trade and innovation in biotech products.
  5. f. 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 program

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

  1. Secure accelerated funding in any infrastructure initiative to upgrade locks & dams on Inland Waterways system b.   Continue to increase annual appropriations for inland waterways and ports and harbor maintenance.

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

  1. Support a Waters of the U.S. rule that does not impose an undue burden on agriculture.
  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. Ensure that the Final Rule for implementing the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard excludes products derived through plant breeding innovations from being labeled as biotech.
  2. Support regulatory reforms that: (1) accelerate the timelines for 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).
  1. Oppose efforts to restrict the branding and marketing of soymilk.
  2. Educate Department of Defense on value of soy ingredients; oppose soy restrictions in military dining. e. Defend the soy protein health claim for heart health.

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

  1. Secure a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit in 2018
  2. Increase annual RFS volumes for biodiesel and Advanced Biofuels

FY-2018/2019 Budget and Appropriations (Agriculture and Appropriations Committees)

Support proposed funding for rural broadband, protect funding of crop insurance, FMD and MAP, food aid, pesticide programs, ag research, conservation programs, and Inland Waterways and Harbor Maintenance Trust Funds.

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

Secure clarification of Section 199A of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act regarding sales to cooperatives.

Aquaculture (NOAA; Senate Commerce and House Natural Resources Committees) Support legislation to remove regulatory barriers to offshore aquaculture expansion.

ASA Policy Priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill

  • ASA is working closely with other farm organizations and with Congress to enact a farm bill in 2018 that will strengthen the farm safety net in order to offset significant reductions in crop prices and farm income since 2013.
  • ASA supports maintaining the current crop insurance program, including harvest price coverage.
  • ASA opposes reducing premium subsidies or imposing means testing under crop insurance.
  • ASA supports keeping the farm/rural and nutrition titles of the 2018 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 plantings.
  • ASA supports the new seed cotton program and decoupling of generic base acres included in the Bipartisan Budget Act.
  • ASA supports full funding of AFRI and other agricultural research programs.
  • ASA supports full funding of the EQIP and CSP conservation programs.
  • ASA supports maintaining the FMD baseline and doubling funding for the FMD and MAP programs over the life of the 2018 farm bill.
  • ASA supports authorizing and funding the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, the Biobased Market Program, and the Biodiesel Education Program