DES MOINES, Iowa – At the 42nd annual Iowa Pork Congress, Jim Wiesemeyer looked at what agriculture could see from Washington in 2014.
From the farm bill to deficit, international trade to immigration, Congress is facing several decisions that have lasting impact on the country’s agricultural producers. Many of these issues, such as the farm bill, have dragged on for far too long.
“We’re in the fifth calendar year of a five-year farm bill,” he points.
Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) has been debated for even longer.
“It started in 2002 Farm Bill,” Wiesemeyer said. “If you are against country-of-origin labeling, you have some of your own lobbyists to fault because they didn’t give it a look at in 2002. They didn’t think it was going to happen. They were wrong.”
However, a resolution may be on the horizon because, as Wiesemeyer points, President Obama is traveling Mexico on Feb. 19 for a North American summit.
One of Wiesemeyer’s White House sources told him, “we want this issue off the table by then because Obama doesn’t want the Mexicans and the Canadians preaching to him about this.”
“As we speak, they are negotiating to change the country-of-origin labeling program,” Wiesemeyer adds.
Other issues – such as immigration – will likely be put on hold until the next presidential election in 2016.