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Omnibus bill has benefits for cattlemen, NCBA says

Omnibus bill has benefits for cattlemen, NCBA says
Congress' funding bill includes some key priorities for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association

Congress' passage last week of the omnibus spending bill was a benefit to beef producers, National Cattlemen's Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says.

Related: Groups to Congress: Time's up on Country-of-Origin labeling

The bill, which authorizes government spending through the remainder of fiscal year 2016, repealed country-of-origin labeling and made higher section 179 expensing levels permanent.

"Now, we're not going to see retaliation from Canada and Mexico," Woodall said. "This is a huge victory for us."

Congress' funding bill includes some key priorities for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (Thinkstock/flySnow)

Before the repeal of COOL, the World Trade Organization had approved $1.01 billion in trade retaliation for Canada and Mexico on the U.S. The policy required meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested.

Tax extenders
The omnibus bill also included permanent extension of higher section 179 levels, which cap small business deductions for capital expenses at $500,000, up from the previous limit of $25,000.

Despite the change, Woodall says tax reform is a key priority for cattlemen in 2016, as are elections.

Related: Congress' tax, spending approvals make some breaks permanent

Additionally, Congress has its hands full with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"This a critical trade deal that needs to be done as quickly as possible," he said. "Australia and the Japanese government already have a trade deal. Australian beef producers currently have over a 10% tariff advantage over the U.S."

TPP puts all the countries back on the same tariff schedule, Woodall explained, and with everybody on a level playing field, "we can beat the Australians over quality any day of the week."

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