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AFIA Outlines Policy Priorities for 2019 at IPPE

Ingredient appropriations reform among top industry concerns

John Stewart, AFIA's manager of government affairs
John Stewart, AFIA's manager of government affairs

AFIA’s John Stewart, manager of government affairs, provided insights during his IPPE TECHTalk What’s Ahead in the Trump Administration and Congress?

Major changes have taken place in agriculture since President Trump took office in 2016. Examples include the 2018 Farm Bill; a renegotiated “NAFTA,” now known as USMCA; escalating trade tensions; tax policy overhaul; immigration policy reform; and a focus on regulatory rollback.

“The president has promised to get some regulations out of the way for agriculture, and it’s not any different from the Obama administration,” Stewart said.

The feed industry has unique challenges that AFIA would like the president to address in 2019. Topping the list includes ingredient review appropriations, Farm Bill implementation, removing tariffs and keeping the government open.

“Our members who are ingredients suppliers submit products for review and approval and it may take three to five years for a response, losing our members millions of dollars annually,” Stewart said.

AFIA acknowledges part of the problem is staffing shortages at the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and government shutdowns do not help matters.

“Every week of shut down puts government work a month behind, so we’re working hard to keep the government open in a bipartisan way,” Stewart said.

Congress have recently shifted, especially in the House of Representatives, noted Stewart. Climate change, infrastructure, International trade agreements and administrative oversight are slated to take center stage in 2019.

Before closing, Stewart predicted the 2020 election will be one of the most anticipated in decades.

“Politics is politics and as we get closer to the presidential election and 30 senators’ elections, we may see things getting even more politicized,” Stewart said.

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