As the U.S. House funds much of the federal government through September of 2015 (and we wait for the Senate to pass the bill as well), cattle producers are happy with what’s in that bill. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says this appropriations bill contained many of the priorities for cattlemen and women.
“We were very happy to see a number of issues that have affected our producers addressed in this legislation,” said [National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Victoria, Texas cattleman, Bob McCan]. “It is clear that Congress recognizes and agrees that the Administration’s regulatory zeal has gone too far and if left unchecked, it will impede the economic growth of rural America.”
Key for cattlemen and women, the report language for the USDA contained a provision instructing the Secretary of Agriculture to submit a report with his recommendations for any changes in the Federal law required to bring the Country of Origin Labeling program into compliance with our international trade obligations. This report would need to be submitted within 15 days of the appeal decision from the WTO or by May 1, 2015, whichever comes first.
“The WTO ruling on the COOL rule was very clear that this provision discriminates against our largest trading partners,” said McCan. “Moreover, this failed legislation has cost U.S. cattle producers in the form of lost revenue and added costs for labeling, all for a program that has not shown benefits to consumers or greater consumption of beef. It is time to fix COOL before our economy is damaged by retaliatory tariffs or our trade relationships are permanently damaged. Failure to abide by our trade obligations sends a signal to our current and future trade partners that they too can pick and choose what provisions to abide by.”
The measure also ensures there’s not a duplicative beef checkoff, as well as directing the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States Interpretative rule. Another provision important to NCBA is the defunding of the GIPSA provisions and language on a number of environmental regulations.