ARA Sets Policy Priorities for 2018

ARA’s policy priorities center on the farm bill, rural infrastructure and transportation, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) reauthorization, continued regulatory reform and a pro-growth economic agenda for rural America. ( ARA )

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) finalized its list of public policy priorities on Feb. 7 during the Winter Board of Directors and Committee Meetings held in Washington, D.C.

ARA’s policy priorities center on the farm bill, rural infrastructure and transportation, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) reauthorization, continued regulatory reform and a pro-growth economic agenda for rural America.

FARM BILL

  • Support a farm bill protecting crop insurance safety nets, which are vital for farmers.
  • Support improving certification process for technical service providers, and include 4R nutrient management in Natural Resources Conservation Service stewardship program.
  • Support the National Agricultural Statistics Service Conservation Effects Assessment Project.
  • Maintain current acreage for conservation programs, and protect working lands.

RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION

  • Support funding for rural broadband and transportation infrastructure; lessen regulatory burdens.
  • Support pilot program to lower the federal age to receive a commercial driver’s license to 18 years old for short-haul drivers moving farm supplies or agricultural commodities to increase the count of available drivers.
  • Support electronic logging device exemption for all agricultural operations.

CFATS REAUTHORIZATION

  • Support short-term (four years to six years) reauthorization—December 2018 is the current expiration—that recognizes industry-led security measures such as ResponsibleAg and provides consistent and clear federal definitions for the terms ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrate mixtures.
  • Maintain notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements of the APA for any changes to chemicals of interest found in CFATS. Appendix A.

REGULATORY REFORM FOR AGRICULTURAL RETAILERS

  • Support legislation that protects users from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit’s duplicative requirements and legal liability.
  • Support codification of the process safety management definition of “retail facilities” using the “50%” rule.

PRO-GROWTH ECONOMIC AGENDA
FOR RURAL AMERICA

  • Support a fix to the tax reform package reinstating the domestic production activities deduction, also known as the Section 199 deduction.
  • Support domestic energy production and fair-trade agreements, such as NAFTA.
  • Support a new, usable guest worker visa program that works for all of American agriculture.

For more background on policy priorities and the ARA position, visit www.ARADC.org/priorities.

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