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Government of Canada Proposes New Rules to Strengthen Food Safety

The following article was originally published in a news release by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Click here to read the full release.

Today, the Government of Canada launched a public consultation on new rules to strengthen food safety. The proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations would better protect Canadian families by putting a greater emphasis on preventing food safety risks for all foods imported into Canada or sold across provinces. The regulations would also apply to foods prepared for export. Continue reading

Trump Signs Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

On January 30, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The action addresses a promise he made on the campaign trail to curtail the impact of federal regulations. The Executive Order institutes a policy that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination. The order also calls for the reduction in costs of regulations and places a cap of zero dollars on new regulations for the remainder of fiscal year 2017. Any new incremental costs associated with new regulations in 2017 must be offset with the elimination of existing regulatory costs. Beginning in fiscal year 2018, each agency will be given a set budget for regulatory expenses. Agencies will be required to identify budget offsets for any regulation that is estimated to have increased costs in that fiscal year. The White House Office of Management and Budget will provide additional guidance to agencies on how to comply with the new policies.

Trump’s actions signal a significant shift in the regulatory climate. Rules initiated by the Obama Administration, but not completed, such as proposed changes to OSHA’s Process Safety Management program are unlikely to advance under the new system. GCCA will continue to actively engage with agencies and the Trump Administration and keep members updated on new developments. A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.

Trump Presidential Memorandum Withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Note: There is still a lot of uncertainty about what impact the U.S. withdrawal from TPP will have on U.S. exports, including meat and poultry. The information below gives our best assessment of the situation as it currently stands. The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) will continue to actively monitor future developments.

On January 23rd, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum that withdraws the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP was former President Obama’s signature trade deal that would have brought together 12 countries including Japan, Vietnam, Australia and Mexico. The deal had been negotiated, but never sent to Congress for approval.

The memorandum articulates the Trump Administration’s trade policy: ”to deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals.”

The next steps toward advancing the new Trump Administration policy are uncertain with TPP countries. It appears that a potential renegotiation of NAFTA will likely be considered before opening new bilateral discussions with TPP countries.

Trump’s withdrawal leaves uncertainty with the future of the pact. Some TPP countries (Australia and New Zealand) are advocating to move forward with TPP without the United States. Other countries, including Canada, are effectively calling TPP “dead.” China is seen as a winner with the U.S. withdrawal from TPP and is pushing an alternative regional trade agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Impact

The U.S. withdrawal from TPP does not change the current trade policies in place for U.S. products, including meat and poultry. There is not expected to be an immediate impact on trade of U.S. agricultural products. However, there remains concern over the potential lost opportunities that TPP represented to further open markets.

The full impact won’t be known for some time, as the TPP countries consider their options for moving forward and the Trump Administration begins implementing its policy of focusing on bilateral negotiations.

Industry Reaction

Many agriculture industry groups expressed disappointment in the withdrawal from TPP and called on the Trump Administration to move forward quickly to ensure that U.S. agriculture products don’t lose ground as a result of the withdrawal. Groups expressed their desire to work with the Trump Administration to advance these goals. Below are statements from selected agriculture industry groups:

U.S. Meat Export Federation Statement (source)

USMEF remains fully committed to our valued trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These countries account for more than 60 percent of U.S. red meat exports.

In some of these key markets, the U.S. red meat industry will remain at a serious competitive disadvantage unless meaningful market access gains are realized. We urge the new administration to utilize all means available to return the United States to a competitive position, so that our industry can continue to serve this important international customer base and further expand our export opportunities.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Statement (source)

“TPP and NAFTA have long been convenient political punching bags, but the reality is that foreign trade has been one of the greatest success stories in the long history of the U.S. beef industry.

“Fact is American cattle producers are already losing out on $400,000 in sales every day because we don’t have TPP, and since NAFTA was implemented, exports of American-produced beef to Mexico have grown by more than 750 percent. We’re especially concerned that the Administration is taking these actions without any meaningful alternatives in place that would compensate for the tremendous loss that cattle producers will face without TPP or NAFTA.

“Sparking a trade war with Canada, Mexico, and Asia will only lead to higher prices for American-produced beef in those markets and put our American producers at a much steeper competitive disadvantage. The fact remains that 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, and expanding access to those consumers is the single best thing we can do to help American cattle-producing families be more successful.”

American Farm Bureau Federation (source)

With President Donald Trump’s executive action to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, “it is critical that the new administration begin work immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U.S. agricultural goods and to protect and advance U.S. agricultural interests in the critical Asia-Pacific region,” according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.

AFBF viewed TPP as a positive agreement that would add $4.4 billion annually to the struggling agriculture economy.

“U.S. agriculture creates jobs and supports economic growth in rural America, and American agriculture depends on maintaining and increasing access to markets outside the United States. Trade is vital to the success of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. More than 25 percent of all U.S. ag production ultimately goes to markets outside our borders. ” —  AFBF President Zippy Duvall

National Chicken Council (sourced from a news article)

The National Chicken Council noted that for the poultry industry, trade and expanding access to foreign markets are critically important. The industry exports nearly 20 percent of poultry production to more than 100 countries. In 2016 exports totaled about $3 billion.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on free and fair trade, tearing down barriers for chicken and gaining more access to world markets.”

For more information, please contact GCCA Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs Lowell Randel at lrandel@nullgcca.org.

GCCA-Supported Coalition Submits Letter of Support for the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017

The Family Business Coalition (FBC), of which the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) is an active member, sent a letter to Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD) supporting their introduction of the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017. In total, 132 trade associations and advocacy organizations representing a wide range of America’s family businesses joined the letter in support the legislation. The coalition letter states in part, “The negative effects of the estate tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Your legislation will help America’s family businesses create jobs, expand operations, and grow the economy.” Continue reading

White House Orders Freeze in Regulation Development

This week, United States President Donald Trump ordered a freeze on all pending regulations until his administration can review them. The freeze is outlined in a memorandum issued for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “the Memorandum, which is subject to exemptions for emergency situations or other urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, financial, or national security matters, is designed to ensure that the President’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations.”

The Memorandum asks departments and agencies to:

  • Send no regulations to the Federal Register until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2017, reviews and approves the regulation.
  • For regulations that have been sent to the Federal Register, but not yet published, immediately withdraw them (subject to the exceptions described above and consistent with Federal Register procedures).
  • For regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but have not taken effect, temporarily postpone their effective date for 60 days for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy (and possible further review).
  • Regulations subject to statutory or judicial deadlines are excluded.

More information can be found at the following resources:

Politico
White House orders ‘immediate regulatory freeze’

The Hill
Trump White House tells agencies to halt regulations

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