The past two weeks have been anything but uneventful for agriculture in Washington, D.C.  Below is a wrap up of major happenings, and what they mean for soy growers across the country.

Secretary Perdue

The agriculture community hailed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s confirmation as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture by the U.S. Senate on April 25.

Perdue provides a much anticipated representation of agriculture and rural America on President Trump’s cabinet amid the biggest drop in farm prices and income we’ve seen in decades.

White House Agricultural Task Force

Newly appointed USDA Secretary Perdue will chair President Trump’s task force aimed at “promoting agriculture and rural prosperity in America.”

The EO which established this task force was signed during a roundtable meeting between President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Perdue and 15 farmers and ranchers representing agriculture and rural America.

You can find the full EO here.

NAFTA Back and Forth

Tensions rose between agriculture groups on April 26 as it was rumored that senior staff in the administration were drafting an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Later that same day, President Trump announced that the U.S. would remain a part of NAFTA, but will engage with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the major trade pact.

ASA was encouraged by this announcement, and that Secretary Perdue, now representing rural America on Trump’s cabinet, clearly sees the link between increased access to global markets and success for American farmers.

Bipartisan Biodiesel

Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa) Sen. Cantwell (D-Wash.) and 14 other senators who introduced bipartisan legislation to reform the biodiesel tax credit to a domestic production credit and extend the new policy for three years.

S. 944, the American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017, will allow producers the security they need to grow operations and will help continue biodiesel’s success in diversifying the fuel market.

Be on the lookout for a House companion bill within the week and a link in the Soy Action Center to contact your representatives and urge them to sign on.

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