Both the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) thanked Congress today for passing the omnibus spending bill that included repealing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and making the Section 179 tax credit permanent.
The repeal of COOL was critical, since both Canada and Mexico were poised to implement $1 billion in trade sanctions.
“Repealing the six-year-old COOL program for beef and pork prevents the loss of millions of dollars of U.S. dairy exports that would have resulted from the World Trade Organization ruling [allowing such sanctions],” says Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO.
IDFA CEO and President Connie Tipton concurs: “The omnibus spending bill approved today contained a [COOL] measure that was a true holiday gift to the dairy industry…. We applaud Congress for its determined efforts to fix COOL.”
The permanent extension of the Section 179 tax credit, allowing the expensing of up to $500,000 annually, and a five-year extension of bonus depreciation “will make Christmas a little merrier for the nation’s dairy farmers,” adds Mulhern. “In particular, the tax measures will help farmers’ budgets in a year when they’ve been squeezed financially by low milk prices.”
But the omnibus spending bill didn’t include everything on NMPF’s Christmas wish list. Left undone was Federal legislation that would preempt mandatory state GMO food labeling; child nutrition program reform to allow increased access to dairy products; halting EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule enforcement, and a proposal to create a manure nutrient recovery tax credit.
Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act is expected early next year. And Mulhern says NMPF will work with Congress to get other provisions passed in 2016.