Progress made toward Colombia FTA
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said the Obama administration’s ability to strike a deal that moves the Colombia free trade agreement forward is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. A group of Farm Bureau leaders pushed the trade agreement during a recent visit to Colombia and Panama.
“U.S. farmers and ranchers have been losing market share in Colombia to our competitors who have trade agreements with the country. It’s time to turn the tide and recoup our losses,” Stallman said. “Colombia has duty-free access to the U.S. market, while our products face excessive tariffs to sell to Colombia’s market. When implemented, the Colombia FTA would level the playing field for U.S. farmers and ranchers by eliminating these tariffs.”
Lawmakers seek to eliminate Form 1099 requirement
Lawmakers recently passed a bill repealing the onerous Form 1099 requirement that America Farm Bureau Federation believed was a costly, burdensome and unnecessary tax compliance requirement. The new health care law contains a provision set to begin in 2012 requiring that businesses submit a Form 1099 to the Internal Revenue Service for every vendor from which they purchase $600 or more worth of goods or services. H.R. 4, passed by both the House and the Senate, would repeal this new requirement.
AFBF comments on federal budget
As lawmakers begin looking at cuts to rein in federal spending, AFBF is weighing in on how those cuts could impact farmers.
America’s farmers are willing to do their part to help balance the nation’s budget and cut the crippling federal deficit but farmers are concerned about cuts that might impact the agricultural safety net, said AFBF President Bob Stallman.Even before any cuts, farm program expenditures have been falling for years, Stallman said.
“It is vital that decisions to cut farm program spending be made with a recognition of the cyclical nature of our farm economy and its ties to a global economy that can be even more volatile. The cost of our safety net varies by market condition,” Stallman said.
“We know the importance of a fiscally responsible federal government because we follow fiscally sound principles each and every day on our farms and ranches. We can all agree that something must be done to address our country’s deficit. We know that cuts must be made, and we ask that they be made with a fair hand and a focus on the long-term, big picture facing American agriculture.”