The Crush - June 2019 - 8

[ FEDERAL FOCUS ]

Good News from House Appropriations

FEDERAL FUNDING FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE, SMOKE EXPOSURE RESEARCH
HOUSE PASSES $19.1B DISASTER AID PACKAGE
In November 2018, in the wake of wildfires that devastated a
number of California communities and prevented many growers
from selling their 2018 winegrape crop, CAWG and other
California grower organizations asked Congress to assist in the
recovery of adversely affected winegrape growers.
The Senate on May 23 passed a disaster assistance bill on an 85
to 8 vote, but a couple of legislators in the House blocked it and
delayed the House vote. But on June 3, the House passed the
bill on a bipartisan 354 to 58 vote. It offers up to $19.1 billion to
aid the recovery of communities, businesses and farmers across
the country affected by hurricanes, flooding and wildfires. The
disaster aid package includes $3.005 billion to fund payments for
growers affected by a variety of natural disasters that occurred
last year and more recently in 2019.
With the bill's passage and the expected signature of the
president, California growers who experienced wildfire-related
losses in 2018, including losses related to smoke exposure, will
be able to apply for assistance payments from the Wildfire and
Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) administered by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency.
CAWG commends those members of the California congressional
delegation who voted for the disaster assistance bill, particularly
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), who worked hard to ensure
WHIP would be available to assist California growers affected by
smoke exposure-related losses.
CAWG also wishes to recognize and thank the following
organizations that signed onto letters to Congress last November
seeking assistance for growers affected by wildfires: Lake County
Farm Bureau, Lake County Winegrape Commission, Mendocino
County Farm Bureau and Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc.
HOUSE PRESS RELEASE:
Visit https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases
>House passes $19.1B bicameral, bipartisan disaster relief
package (June 3). Press release has a link to the bill summary.
SMOKE EXPOSURE RESEARCH GETS FEDERAL FUNDING
The House Appropriations Committee on June 4 approved a bill
that includes $1.5 million in research funding to address issues
related to smoke exposed winegrapes. The committee approved
the FY 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug
Administration, and Related Agencies bill on a 29 to 21 vote.

8 / JUNE 2019

"We appreciate the committee's
decision to fund smoke
exposure research and I want
to commend, in particular, the
leadership of California Reps.
Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena)
and Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel
Valley) to obtain these funds,"
said CAWG President John
Aguirre.
CAWG and other industry
organizations from California, Oregon and Washington originally
requested $5 million for smoke exposure research. These groups
will continue to push for the full $5 million as the U.S. Senate
works on its bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the
Food and Drug Administration and related agencies.
HOUSE PRESS RELEASE:
Visit https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases
>House Appropriations Committee approves FY2020
Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA funding bill (June 4)
USMCA UPDATE
May 17: The U.S. announced an agreement with Canada and
Mexico to remove the Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum
imports from those countries and for the removal of all retaliatory
tariffs imposed on American goods by those countries.
May 29-30: The Canadian government took a first step toward
ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement when Canadian
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally introduced legislation to
his country's parliament. Vice President Mike Pence and Trudeau
met on May 30 to discuss passage of the trade deal.
May 30: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent
to congressional leaders and Pence a draft "statement of
administrative action" (SAA) to implement the USMCA. This
action is a key step to move the USMCA through Congress.
"With these barriers removed, Canada and Mexico have formally
initiated their ratification processes," Lighthizer wrote. "It is time
for the United States to uphold our end of the bargain with our
key allies and neighbors and do the same. We recognize there is
still work to be done. That is why it is so important that we begin
discussions immediately on the implementation package."


https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases https://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/USMCA_SAA_Cover_Letters_5.30.19.pdf https://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/USMCA_SAA_Cover_Letters_5.30.19.pdf https://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/USMCA_SAA_Cover_Letters_5.30.19.pdf https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases

The Crush - June 2019

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