ISSUE UPDATE: House Passes USMCA
December 20, 2019 Ohio Soybean Association
HOUSE PASSES USMCA
The House overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on a 385 to 41 vote Thursday, sending the new North American trade pact to the Senate, where it should pass easily early next year.
Soy growers, other agriculture and business groups have rallied collectively for months to ensure the House of Representatives would pass the “new NAFTA” before the fade of 2019. Mexico is the #2 market for whole beans, meal and oil, and Canada is the #4 buyer of meal and #7 buyer of oil for U.S. soybean farmers, making the trade agreement essential to sustaining the growth realized in those two countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under NAFTA, U.S. soybean sales to Mexico quadrupled and to Canada doubled.
BIODIESEL TAX CREDIT
This week, Congressional negotiators reached an agreement with the White House on a package of tax policies, including a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive.
The tax package extends the $1.00-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel and the $0.10 per gallon small agri-biodiesel producer credit retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and prospectively for 2020, 2021 and 2022. The last time the credit was in place at the start of the year was 2016.
The House of Representatives added the tax package to a minibus appropriations measure and passed it the afternoon of December 17th. The Senate is expected to clear the measure and send it to President Trump for signature before Friday, December 20.
Thank your Representative or Senator for their support of a multiyear biodiesel tax credit by clicking here.
Other welcome agriculture measures in the Fiscal Year 2020 Omnibus Appropriations package include increased funding for agriculture research, inland waterways infrastructure and disaster assistance:
- Funding for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) was increased from $415 million to $425 million—which was a top appropriations priority for ASA.
Inland Waterways Infrastructure
- The Energy & Water Appropriations portion of the package provides $7.65 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $652 million from last year.
- The bill provides $2.68 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers Construction account, an increase of $498 million above last year.
- The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects receive $1.63 billion, which exceeds the target set by the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA) of 2014.
- The bill includes $1.5 billion additional for Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) disaster assistance and clarifies that quality losses due to excessive moisture are also covered.