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USDA Investing Millions in Rural America, Trade Progress Slowing

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  • The 2014 farm bill has given the USDA new tools, resources and authority to support the rural economy.

    Now the USDA is making available $78 million in investments in local and regional food systems.

    $48 million in loan guarantees are now available through USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program and $30 million is available through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.

  • Election-year politics have complicated President Obama’s trade agenda according to a report as several Democrats have expressed their unwillingness to move on Trade Promotion Authority.

    One official says the entire business community is grinding slowly to a halt because it sees the window closing on getting TPA done this year.

    Without TPA Japan and other trade partners worry the administration could amend a signed deal due to congressional pressure which would force a new round of trade talks.

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says the best strategy is to present Congress with a comprehensive TPP deal to gain leverage for TPA.

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