WV Farm Bureau Magazine November 2014 - Page 10

Stallman, continued rather than science. Although the U.S. and the EU both follow the safety guidelines set out by the World Trade Organization, the EU tacks on a “precautionary principle,” which allows it to add non-scientific guidelines to risk management. Match this with its snail’s pace for approving biotech products, and it is not surprising that we’ve seen a significant drop in corn and soybean exports. For U.S. food products that do make it over to the EU, the use of geographic indications can put some at an unfair disadvantage, limiting their marketability. Standing Firm in Negotiations No trade agreement can be fully successful without the support of agriculture. In September, AFBF’s Trade Advisory Committee met with EU officials in Brussels, where we urged them to remove unnecessary trade barriers once and for all and to move forward with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. A free trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU can bring a serious boost to U.S. agriculture, but only if politics are set aside. AFBF also met with several ambassadors and the WTO director-general in Geneva where we affirmed U.S. support for completing the Trade Facilitation Agreement, an accord that would eliminate many antiquated customs procedures that serve no useful purpose. The agreement is currently on hold thanks to India — which originally signed on with all other WTO countries back in December but is now delaying the ratification. U.S. agriculture is ready for ambitious trade negotiations. Hanging onto failed ideas that place certain agricultural sectors at a disadvantage or create special exemptions for developing countries is no way to move forward in today’s marketplace. Waiting for trade negotiations to conclude can feel a bit like watching paint dry, but persistence pays off. A recent agreement between the U.S. and Brazil has resolved Brazil’s complaint to the WTO and ended years of uncertainty for America’s cotton growers. Thanks to the support of the U.S. government, the current structure of commodity programs remains intact. We must continue to hang tough in trade negotiations to keep the marketplace open to the American farmer. 10 West Virginia Farm Bureau News Register Now for AFBF Annual Convention in Sunny California! Online registration is open for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, Jan. 10-14, 2015, in San Diego. Speakers at this year’s event include U.S. Navy SEALs Commander Rorke Denver and comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno. The full member registration fee is $100 and includes the IDEAg Trade Show and Young Farmer & Rancher competitive events (Saturday, Jan. 10 through Monday, Jan. 12), general sessions, workshops and the AFB Foundation for Agriculture Silent Auction. For full details, see www.annualconvention.fb.org. WEST VIRGINIA ROYALTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION WVROA We need YOUR help! Legislation that will take away surface owner’s and mineral owner’s rights has been introduced HB3151 - introduced by Tim Manchin HB 616 - introduced by Brooks McCabe THESE BILLS ATTACK PROPERTY RIGHTS Stop the “big gas corporation” agenda! JOIN US! WVROA PO Box 5010 Fairmont, WV 26555 304-363-0239 - WVaMOA@gmail.com - wvroa.com