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TPA Win & Visa Crisis Update
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Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: June 19, 2015

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TPA Win & Visa Crisis Update

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

During a recent Washington state media conference call Congressman Dan Newhouse shared his views regarding the House passage of Trade Promotion Authority and what it means for Washington state.

NEWHOUSE: This will allow Congress to assert our authority over trade deals that the administration negotiates. We will require the administration to adhere to at least 150 different priorities for trade negotiations, which will include agricultural provisions. I think that this will allow effective negotiations of trade agreements to help level playing fields with foreign competitors, and open our critical markets for certainly our farmers and ranchers and producers of all the great crops we have in the state of Washington. The first trade agreement that’s on tap is with our Asian partners, and so this will allow us to continue to expand trade to the Pacific Rim, which is essential for our economy and the kinds of things that we produce in the state.

Delays in issuing temporary and immigrant U.S. visas to legal farmworkers due to a computer glitch has stranded much needed workers at the border for more than a week. Late Wednesday the State Department announced workers on WAFLA petitions be summoned to the consulate and nearly 90% received their visas. They were then able to proceed into the country and arrived in Washington state late Thursday. WAFLA’s Dan Fazio says that unfortunately, the clearance system is still not functioning properly leaving workers with visa applications filed after June 9 unable to obtain consulate appointments to clear the system and cross.

That’s Washington Ag Today.

I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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