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TSCRA Govt Affairs Roundup: Endangered Species Act amendments, tariff talks and farm bill

This week, TSCRA joined fellow cattle industry groups in signing a letter of support for the Endangered Species Act Amendments Act of 2018. The federal legislation is an effort to modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The letter notes that the original act was designed to help imperiled species recover, but current data suggests fewer than 2 percent of the species listed have successfully recovered. The proposed legislation promotes giving more power to state and local governments to make decisions based on their area’s unique landscapes, individual needs, and conditions on the ground. Not all signers are listed, but you can read the full letter here.

As reported last week, TSCRA government and public affairs staff continue to closely monitor ongoing trade and tariff issues arising out of Washington. Retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada, China and Mexico are expected to reduce international demand for beef products, thus increasing the domestic supply and lowering prices. It’s still too early to tell how great the effects will be, however. We will continue to advocate for a swift end to escalating trade wars that harm U.S. cattle producers.

We also continue to monitor progress on the 2018 Farm Bill. Both chambers passed versions of the bill prior to leaving for the Fourth of July holiday. They must now resolve the differences between the two bills in a conference committee. Congress is back at work this week, but while informal discussions have started the formal conference committee has not.

Finally, on Monday, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. His nomination is promising on several fronts, particularly with regard to more narrowly defining Waters of the United States. We continue to hope for a quick Senate confirmation process.

Jul 13, 2018 General Discussion, Issues & Policy