Longshoremen agree to discuss West Coast contract extension

Longshoremen agree to discuss West Coast contract extension

West Coast longshoremen agree to open contract extensions; USDA issues final mandatory pricing rule with revisions; Trump names agricultural advisory committee.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union delegates representing 30 West Coast ports voted to enter into discussions with the Pacific Maritime Association regarding the possibility of an extension of the current contract which expires July 2019.

The delegates asked the ILWU leaders to meet with the PMA and report back. Earlier this month, more than 120 manufacturers, farm groups, agribusinesses, importers, exporters and retailers wrote the ILWU and PMA urging them to begin early discussions to avoid the costly delays that occurred at West Coast ports in 2015.

The groups say, “You have both recognized the negative economic impact of disruptions and slowdowns that occurred during the last negotiations. We believe starting negotiations early will help avoid a repeat of that experience.”

Those signing the letter include the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, American Truckers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Institute and U.S. Meat Export Federation.

The 2014-15 extended negotiations resulted in a four-month gridlock that cost the meat industry millions of dollars.

USDA issues final rule revising pork and lamb price reporting
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service issued a final rule making changes to swine and lamb price reporting requirements. The swine revisions were contained in the Agricultural Reauthorizations Act of 2015 which reauthorized the Livestock Mandatory Reporting program.

The changes for swine require packers to report purchases on a negotiated formula bases as a separate purchase category and packers must report all barrow and gilt purchases made after 1:30 p.m. (Central) in their morning report on the next reporting day.

The final rule revises the definition of packer-owned lambs. The rule goes into effect on Oct. 11.

Trump names agricultural advisory committee
The Trump campaign announced the 64 members of the Trump Agricultural Advisory Committee. The campaign in a press release says, “The men and women on the committee will provide pioneering new ideas to strengthen our nation’s agricultural industry as well as provide support to our rural communities. Mr. Trump understands the critical role our nation’s agricultural community plays in feeding not only our country, but the world, and how important these Americans are to powering our nation’s economy.”

The advisory committee includes congressional members, governors, state directors of agriculture and trade association leaders. They include: Charles Herbster, national chairman of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President; John Block, former Secretary of Agriculture; Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee; Congressmen Mike Conaway (R-TX), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee; Robert Aderholt (R-AL); Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA); Governors — Terry Brandstad, Iowa; Sam Brownback, Kansas; Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota; Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota; Mary Fallin, Oklahoma and Pete Ricketts, Nebraska; state directors, secretaries, and commissioners of agriculture — Gary Black, Georgia; Mark Killian, Arizona; Ted McKinney, Indiana; Sid Miller, Texas; Bill Northey, Iowa; Ryan Quarles, Kentucky and Walt Whitcomb, Maine.

Agricultural leaders include Chuck Conner, CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; Rebeckah Adcock, CropLife America’s senior director for government affairs; Jay Armstrong, former chairman of the Farm Foundation; Garry Niemeyer, former president of the National Corn Growers Association; and Steve Foglesong, former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

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