May 3, 2016

Washington Watch – What Lies Ahead for Farm Policy? Audio

Farm lobbyists on Capitol Hill are trying to lay the groundwork for the 2018 Farm Bill by educating lawmakers on agricultural concerns.

David Crow is President of a lobbying firm in Washington called “D.C. Legislative and Regulatory Services.”

He works with members of Congress and federal agencies — on a bipartisan basis, and he got his start on The Hill back in the 1970’s.

David Crow on the 2018 Farm Bill

Pundits on Capitol Hill are speculating about what Congress may accomplish in the lame duck session of Congress.

David Crow on the Lame Duck Session

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Syngenta Involved in GapSummit 2016 – audio

Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, head of biology research for Syngenta, recently participated in GapSummit 2016, Global Biotech Revolution’s global and inter-generational leadership summit in biotechnology. We caught up with him and gained some insight into the event.

Syngenta Michiel van Lookeren Campagne

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Cramer Talks with Froman on TPP

Following a meeting with United States Trade Representative Michael Froman Thursday, Congressman Kevin Cramer said he remains undecided on whether to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP).  Froman is the Obama Administration’s principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on international trade and investment issues.

In their meeting, Cramer and Froman discussed TPP’s impact on North Dakota and the U.S. economy, the importance of trade enforcement and labor, and currency provisions.

“I appreciate the Ambassador meeting with me,” Cramer said.  “I have learned more about the various issues related to the TPP since the agreement was made public.  But gaining first-hand perspective from our lead negotiator certainly will aid me in making my decision if the matter is ever brought to the House floor for consideration.”Cramer.Fromer TPP

The TPP was negotiated to foster free trade between the United States and 11 Pacific nations. Following seven years of developing the agreement, the full text was released in November 2015 and signed by all 12 nations on Feb. 4.

The TPP will take effect after ratification by each of the participating nations.  The U.S. Congress is expected to vote on it before the end of 2016. The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation Congress passed in 2015, and which Cramer supported, placed a number of requirements on the Administration during the trade agreement negotiations.

“TPA ensures Congress and the American people are able to view the text of any trade agreement, like TPP, before a vote is taken,” said Cramer. “This transparency ensures Members of Congress are able to understand the impact of any agreement by letting their constituents review the deal.   Additionally, TPA ensures Congress must pass implementing legislation before TPP can take effect in the United States.”

Cramer said how he votes on the agreement depends on what is best for North Dakota. “International trade is a critical component of the U.S. economy, with approximately 96 percent of the world’s consumers residing outside of the United States,” said Cramer. “In North Dakota, more than 100,000 jobs are dependent upon trade, and North Dakota’s exports have grown from $1 billion in 2004 to $5.29 billion in 2014.”

He said he will continue to scrutinize the agreement over the coming months. “I want to make an informed decision when I cast my vote. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to review the agreement online and contact me with any questions or concerns about the deal.”

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