Opening Statement: Ranking Member David Rouzer - Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Public Hearing: “Safeguarding American Agriculture from Wild, Invasive, and Non-Native Species”
Washington, November 14, 2019
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to today’s hearing— to consider how we are currently safeguarding American agriculture from wild, invasive, and non-native species, and to discuss what steps we can take to improve these efforts.
Invasive species pose a significant threat to the success of production agriculture and environmental stewardship. It is important that we continue to improve the coordinated national strategy to both prevent the introduction of invasive species and to eradicate the ones that we already have.
In the 2018 Farm Bill, we made significant strides in safeguarding American agriculture from invasive pests. Mirrored after the successful Plant Pest and Disease Prevention Program, we created the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program, providing funding for USDA to enter into partnerships with States, universities, and others to fund targeted prevention, preparedness, detection, and response activities. The farm bill also provided funding for a feral swine eradication program, which as of today has made funding available for projects in nine states.
While our trading relationships continue to benefit American farmers and ranchers, increasing levels of imports come with additional pest and disease threats. And as I’ve said at nearly every hearing that we have had this year, the single most important thing we can do is ratify USMCA. In addition to increased market access and the numerous protections and economic benefits that will stem from ratification of this agreement across the agriculture industry, USMCA will foster further opportunities between the three countries to monitor, prevent, detect, and eradicate invasive species.
Thank you to our witnesses for being here today. Each of you play an important role in safeguarding American agriculture, and I thank you for it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.