Members of the American Soybean Growers Association, meeting in Tampa, revised their policy direction for the coming 12 months. One hundred thirty two producers from ASA's 26 state affiliates served as Voting Delegates in the process. Some of the most significant additions and modifications address Tariffs and Trade, Domestic Policy, Transportation Infrastructure, and Conservation, Environment, Research, and Bio-based Products.
Delegates voiced their support for the pending Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements. While supporting FTAs that help increase soybean and meat exports, the ASA members oppose actions by Congress to impose greater tariffs on Chinese products without multi-lateral agreements. ASA members also would like to see a bilateral agreement with the European Union.
In the area of Domestic Policy, ASA supports individual freedom and private initiative through the competitive enterprise system. ASA also supports achieving a balanced federal budget and reducing the national debt through a comprehensive approach to deficit reduction that includes all entitlement programs and discretionary spending. Reductions in the cost of agriculture-related programs should not be disproportionate.
On the Transportation Infrastructure, ASA delegates support enactment of the Capital Development Plan drafted by the Inland Waterways User Board and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate infrastructure improvements on U.S. river systems, improve management of the projects, and provide additional funding.
As for Conservation, Environment, Research, and Bio-based Products, ASA convention delegates voted to support legislation that mandates greater oversight of regulatory agencies by Congressional bodies. And ASA strongly opposes any effort by the Environmental Protection Agency or judicial ruling to regulate dust whether from crop or livestock production as a pollutant.