Agriculture represents the second-largest industry in Florida. For a state as large and dynamic as ours, this means agriculture impacts a lot of people--and a lot of jobs.
As Florida's only voice on the House Committee on Agriculture, I am committed to putting my 30 years of experience working directly with farmers as a large-animal veterinarian to work for you.
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If there is one over-arching conclusion that can be drawn from the first two weeks of the Donald Trump administration, it’s that President Trump aims to keep the promises he made to his voters during the 2016 campaign. The degree to which Trump is striving to keep those promises is nearly-unheard of (Americans had come to expect that once a politician becomes elected to office, that politician abandons many of the campaign promises that were made, or severely compromises him).
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to take a fresh view of our trade relations around the world to make certain they are in the interests of American workers. One place his nominee for the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer can start would be to embrace Representative Ted Yoho’s plan for ending sugar subsidies known as “Zero for Zero.”
The Yoho Zero for Zero plan would legislatively end domestic sugar subsidies after other major international sugar dumpers like Brazil, India and Thailand agree to stop subsidizing their sugar industries in a reciprocal manner.
Opening new markets abroad has been a mainstay of U.S. trade policy since WWII. It’s a noble endeavor, but it cannot succeed in isolation in today’s cut-throat international marketplace.
Once America creates a new opportunity with a new trade deal, it must strictly enforce established trade rules to ensure countries don’t erect new roadblocks or game the system to America’s detriment.
Government has two roles. Pretend to make the lives of Americans better - while actually making them worse. The first is a necessary facade - to allow them to execute the second.
Is this crass and cynical? Yes, it is. But it is also accurate. Here’s some more crass accuracy.
Government is like any other organism. Its primary priorities are self-preservation - and expansion. So it constantly shouts about the (highly dubious) necessity of its existence - and its growth. All of which comes at the expense of the private sector.
With major U.S. trade initiatives working their way between the legislative and executive branches, the future of U.S. trade policy has taken center stage in the 2016 presidential contests. As candidates make their way through the various primaries in both manufacturing and agricultural states, each is outlining their plans for how they might make better deals for the United States. Even better, none of this is done in a vacuum. Markets watch politics, and global markets watch U.S. politics especially.
Editor’s Note: Farm Policy Facts is proud to publish this editorial in support of America’s farmers and ranchers from Rep. Ted Yoho who represents the Third District of Florida and serves on the House Committee on Agriculture. Congressman Yoho originally wrote the piece as a response to a December editorial published in the National Review that called for the end of U.S. sugar policy even as foreign governments are subsidizing their farmers to the point of distorting the world sugar market.
After nearly a decade of secret negotiations, twelve Asia- Pacific countries reached a historic free trade agreement on Oct. 5, 2015. The goal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is to reduce and eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers on goods, services and agriculture throughout the Pacific Rim. Additionally, this agreement establishes trade rules that directly address global economic issues and expand on current World Trade Organization commitments. All of this sounds good, but is it?
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL-03) voted in favor of H.R. 1599— Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. This bill will set a federal standard for GMO labeling on food products. This prevents one state from having a different protocol or standard from another state - which conflicts with interstate commerce and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The program will be administered by the U.S.
With all of the feedback about the Committee vote on country of origin labeling, I thought it necessary to elaborate a little more to address the concern that has been expressed directly to me.
Why this makes sense for the American consumer, agriculture producers and good for trade:
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL-03) voted to approve the bipartisan bill - H.R. 2393 –that will repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. The bill amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, while leaving intact the requirements for all other covered commodities. It passed out of the House Committee on Agriculture with a strong bipartisan vote of 38-6. Congressman Yoho gave the following statement after his vote.