FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 17, 2015
Contact:           Chuck Lippstreu, Byrum & Fisk Communications,
Ag leaders urge passage of Consolidated Appropriations Act​
‘Omnibus bill’ will prevent trade retaliation by Canada and Mexico, help U.S. agriculture continue growing
LANSING – The Agricultural Leaders of Michigan (ALM) today urged members of Michigan’s U.S. House delegation to support passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, noting in a letter to lawmakers (attached) that the bill contains a wide range of provisions to benefit Michigan agriculture and prevent roadblocks to continued progress. 

​Click here to view ALM's letter to Michigan's U.S. House delegation. 

“Michigan agriculture is working hard to continue growing, creating jobs and boosting the rural economy, and approval of the omnibus bill will eliminate roadblocks to growth while providing certainty in the coming year,” said Dave Armstrong, CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services. “A vote to pass this legislation is a vote to support Michigan agriculture.”

Notably, the bill includes a resolution to the current Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) dispute that has threatened to harm U.S. agriculture. The fix will repeal COOL and prevent Canada and Mexico from leveraging more than $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products and other U.S. exports that were approved just a few days ago by the World Trade Organization. 

“Without a resolution of COOL, Canada and Mexico will be free to retaliate against agriculture and other important sectors, dealing a significant blow to Michigan’s economy,” said Sam Hines, executive vice president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. “The omnibus bill will resolve this issue, ensuring that we don’t create an unnecessary roadblock for Michigan agriculture.”

In addition to funding the Federal government and resolving the COOL dispute, the bill:

- Boosts critical agricultural research to address challenges like avian influenza
- Directs substantial resources to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure safe food for families
- Provides funding to ensure the availability of the school lunch and school breakfast programs that provide meals to more than 31 million children daily 
- Expands renewable energy generation across the United States by extending the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for wind and solar

“This bill will provide certainty for farmers, producers, agribusinesses and all industries by funding the Federal government into the New Year, and we urge our members of Congress to support its passage,” said Armstrong.

# # #