Postal Rate Hike & Vilsack on FTA's

Postal Rate Hike & Vilsack on FTA's

Postal Rate Hike & Vilsack on FTA’s plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Friday, President Obama is expected to sign the necessary legislation implementing the Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says we can expect more export records to be set.

VILSACK: For agriculture it means $2.3 billion dollars of additional exports. When you add that to what we’re already doing you’re seeing that we’re going to be able to build on our record agricultural export year that we’re having this year. $2.3 billion dollars of additional exports means more opportunities for farmers and ranchers to improve their bottom line but it also means more jobs. Every billion dollars of sales generates about 8400 jobs. We’re looking at a little less than 24-thousand jobs plus improved income for farmers and ranchers.

Well the U.S. Postal Service is once again hiking the price of a First Class stamp but this time by only 1 cent. But will it be enough to keep the company in business? The cost of the Forever stamp will climb to 45-cent in January. The cost of sending magazines, standard mail and some package services will also rise, but prices for Express Mail and Priority Mail will stay the same. It is the first rate hike in more than 2 1/2 years. The Postal Service is believed to have lost about $10 billion in the fiscal year that ended last month.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s statement this week that it was putting to rest what it calls the “farm dust myth” brings to mind that in all legends and myths there lies a morsel of truth. The EPA has a track record of making last minute revisions and modifications to proposed regulations while refusing to disclose its data and methodology used in drafting such regulations to the public. The declaration by the EPA that it does not intend to regulate farm dust and is prepared to keep the current standards in place should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt. After all this “myth” as the EPA calls it started when the EPA’s own staff members recommended tightening the Clean Air Act standards during the agency’s regular five year review. Is it any wonder then that a panic ensued with farmers and ranchers over the possibility of increased regulation in the agricultural industry. More than likely the EPA was surprised by the sheer number of those voicing concerns and frustration over the mere suggestion of stricter farm dust regulations; by not only farmers and ranchers, but senate and congress members as well.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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