A seemingly unprecedented surge of accomplishments from Washington has made January a banner month for cattle producers across the nation.
Jan. 1 brought the implementation of a trade deal with Japan. Finally, U.S. beef producers will have parity with other countries sending beef to our No. 1 trading partner.
The following week, the administration announced beneficial reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act. As we reported earlier, those changes will streamline and reduce the burdens of environmental reviews for cattle producers and other industries.
The fourth week saw the announcement of a new rule to replace the much-maligned 2015 Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule. The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule will be less burdensome on cattle producers and property owners since it is narrower in scope and much easier to interpret that what came before.
Finally, in case you missed it, this week, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association leaders were in Washington to attend the USMCA signing ceremony. President Trump, Vice President Pence and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, addressed the audience of senators, members of Congress, cabinet-level officials, governors and titans of industry from the likes of Ford, Chrysler and Pepsi. Included were four of our volunteer leaders and numerous other cattle producers across the country.
Our inclusion in the signing ceremony, and all the other recent accomplishments, reflects the priority this administration places on agriculture. After eight years of challenges during the Obama administration, it’s a welcome and refreshing change to have such a prominent seat at the table.
I have a feeling that it’s going to be hard to beat January 2020, but let’s hope this trend continues!
Now that Japan, China, Canada and Mexico are looking good, the focus has shifted to the United Kingdom and the European Union. The EU has significant barriers to the entry of U.S. beef, making a better trade agreement essential if Europe is to become a major destination for American beef. The UK was part of the European Union until Wednesday when they officially split with the EU on the same day USMCA was signed. That means we also will need to negotiate a free trade agreement in the UK.
Thursday, our director of government affairs, Peyton Schumann, began his training as a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Citizen Game Warden. Don’t worry, they’re not giving him a badge or a ticket book — but he will get considerable insight into the vital role of Texas Game Wardens.
Ranching and wildlife go hand-in-hand, and over the years, TSCRA and its members have developed close ties to the men and women who protect our wildlife resources. Thank you to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for including us so we can continue to strengthen those ties.
Next week, our government and public affairs staff will be San Antonio for the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. If you’re attending, be sure to stop us and say hello.
Until next time,
Jeremy Fuchs is Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s director of public affairs.