The re-authorization of the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill is an important piece of legislation that impacts multiple constituencies and organizations.
The Farm Bill will be reauthorized by its expiration date in September 2012, but much the language, framework and decisions are being decided now.
Programs under the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee total $924 billion, or 2.15 percent of total government spending. Of the total $924 billion, 75 percent, or $693 billion is directed toward nutrition programs. The Senate Agriculture Committeeâ€™s jurisdiction (unlike the House) includes child nutrition programs. This adds $204 billion to their budget.
For example, the Brazilian cotton case resolved in the World Trade Organization in August 2009 maintains a caveat that authorizes the Brazilian government to retaliate against the U.S. by suspending U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights (patents & copyrights) if it believes the 2012 Farm Bill contains trade distorting policies, targeting mainly the commodity marketing loan and counter-cyclical payment programs. Watch for more non-traditional IP-intensive industries and their high-powered lobbying corps to enter the fray of the 2012 Farm Bill debate.
What this could mean to Your Organization
If Brazil suspends U.S. patents & copyrights (if they don'tget their way in the upcoming Farm Bill), the patent your company has for cellular phones, audio components, video equipment, medical equipment, fabrics, food processing systems, fruits & vegetable products, beauty products, pharmaceuticals, or nearly ANY intellectual property, could be completely ignored by Brazil, producing cheaper, inferior, products, diluting your market and reducing your market share.
Politics as Unusual
Every candidate in 2012 must take a position on farm policy. 2012 is presidential election year. 23 Democrats and ten Republicans will be up for re-election in the U.S. Senate. Example: The new reform-minded Republicans elected in the House will most likely reinforce the call for a vote to change the eligibility standards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (food stamps) program.
The fact that the Farm Bill is being re-authorzed during a major election year means that every politician will have to take a position. This presents an opportunity for your interests to be stated and recogonized at a time when critical decisions are being made.
Cansler Can Do
Cansler Consulting can help you advocate your interests to policy makers and get your voice heard. The economic, budgetary, social and political complexities of farm policy will continue delivering the opportunity for lawmakers to make tough choices in the coming months, but the impact from the Farm Bill will affect your organization for decades to come and now is the time to be heard.
at (202) 714-2822 for a consultation today to see how we can help your organization build support where it needs it most.