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Breaking News
Panel rules against U.S. in meat-labeling dispute

The U.S. has lost a key round at the World Trade Organization in a trade dispute with Canada and Mexico over meat labeling in a decision sent to all three countries in July.

Canada and Mexico opposed a new U.S. rule that requires more information on labels about the origins of beef, pork and other meats, which went into effect in November.  They took their case to the WTO, saying the rule hurts their competitiveness.

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Congress has left the building

Congress began its annual August recess at the end of July, with the House and Senate leaving town without coming to an agreement on annual appropriations measures or a continuing resolution to fund the federal government past the September 30 end of the fiscal year. When Congress returns to Washington September 8, legislators will have only a handful of legislative days to enact government funding measure and other “must-pass” legislation before breaking again at the beginning of October for the lead up to midterm elections.

Dealers are encourage to read the NAEDA issues published in the July/August issue of the Equipment Dealer Magazine and talk with your congressional representative and senators on these important issues while they are on their August recess. Your discussions could be the turning point we need to get the issues addressed this fall.

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EETC is pleased to announce the addition of Briggs & Stratton’s Training Kits and Curriculum

The Equipment & Engine Training Council is pleased to announce the addition of Briggs & Stratton’s Training Kits and Curriculum to the online EETC Education Resources Web Site. 
Tom Billigen, Briggs & Stratton Customer Education Training Manager, commented that, “the need for hands on, experience-based training is becoming increasingly important to schools and the communities they serve. Working with the EETC and its membership to provide that support makes sense.”

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House passes bill boosting write-off limits for capital purchases

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 -- The House passed legislation Thursday that would make permanent a tax provision that allows farmers and other small businesses to immediately write off up to $500,000 in equipment purchases such as combines and large tractors rather than follow a depreciation schedule.

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Videos explain Farm Bill

The American Farm Bureau Federation has launched a series of videos to help farmers and other stakeholders better understand provisions of the 2014 farm bill. The videos include a farm bill overview describing the basic provisions of the commodity title, including a description of the decisions related to the program participation that will need to be made by farmers and landowners.

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FDA defers the proposed animal feed rule

FDA's proposed rule on spent brewer and distiller grains used in animal feed as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has been postponed. The rule, as proposed, threatened to end the practice of feeding such grains to livestock. 

Under the rule, breweries would have been forced to dry, package, and inspect all food including spent grain used for cattle. But last week, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor told breweries, feed manufacturers and livestock producers: “That, of course, would not make common sense.”

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Groups object to equipment pooling, LKE repeal in Senate Finance Tax Reform Plan

Eighteen state and national trade associations joined in a Feb. 25 letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committee objecting to the committee’s proposal to create a new asset pooling system to depreciate business property and repeal like-kind exchange.

The letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who recently took over the committee’s chairmanship, and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) expressed support for tax reform that improves the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for both corporations and pass-through entities and creates a tax environment conducive to economic growth and investment. However, the letter said the pool scheme, proposed in November 2013 (before Wyden took over the Finance Committee) would create unrealistically lengthy asset recovery periods for business assets that will negatively impact business cash flow and reduce economic growth and job creation.

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Tax code changes could cost agriculture

A new study shows proposed changes to the tax code restricting the use of cash accounting by agricultural operations would reduce agriculture's access to capital by as much as $12.1 billion over the next four years.

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2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary results show growing farm economy

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014 –USDA today released the preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture results.  Key findings include an increase in the value of agricultural products sold in the United States totaling $394.6 billion in 2012, up 33 percent ($97.4 billion) from 2007.  The number of farms and land in farms were down slightly, but held steady. Additionally, agriculture is becoming more diverse.

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U.S. Republicans seek Keystone approval; Foes vow to risk arrest

Dozens of Republican senators on Tuesday called on the White House to approve the Keystone XL pipeline as foes vowed to risk arrest at protests against the controversial project.

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From the NAEDA Office

A Brief Respite From Task Group Updates Legislative and educational opportunities within the coming months.

Last month, I promised an update on the progress of the Governance/Structure Task Group. However, this month, I need to briefly change the focus of this column in order to provide timely information on a couple of upcoming opportunities.

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