Tariff Assistance Program Likely in Days not Weeks or Months

Senior leadership in the Trump administration have told journalists in the past day or two that the assistance that the President talked about late last week could be announced in days not weeks or months like the Disaster Bill has been.

Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney told journalists in Washington this morning that this is an all hands on deck issue. Americas farmers need to understand that the Administration has its back according to reports. Secretary Perdue has been quoted as saying assistance in response to the Chinese deal breaking down is a very high priority. The Secretary is currently on a tour of Asian countries this week.

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Gin School Right Around the Corner

The National Cotton Ginners Association and USDA Gin Labs work together each year to put on several ginning schools across the country. The third and final school for 2019 will be in Stoneville, MS from June 4th through the 6th. This is the closest school to the SE each year. Many manufacturers and designers as well as researchers and experts in regulatory and safety issues will be on hand to give the attendees presentations on a number of topics.

This year there will once again be three levels of school covering various levels of experience and detail. Level one is the most basic and is designed for those that are just beginning in the process. Level two is an intermediate level and level three is the most advanced. Most of the levels require the previous level to attend. There is also a continuing education session for two of the three days which typically goes into a few topics a bit more in depth.

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House Passes Disaster Bill – Pressure Still on the Senate

Friday, last week, the House of Representatives passed a roughly 19 Billion dollar disaster bill that includes about $3Billion of ag disaster relief. The bill passed 257 to 150 with all Democrat members and 34 Republican members voting for the bill. The remaining Republicans voted against the measure at the urging of the President. The President seems to still be opposed to additional aid to Puerto Rico. President Trump continues to insist publicly that he wants Congress to pass assistance to farmers hit by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding in the past several months.

The House bill adds aid for the mid-west (mostly Iowa and Nebraska) that were devastated by flooding earlier this year. It provides some help for farmers who lost grain in their bins and helps to rebuild levees and other infrastructure to control future flooding.

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More On SSA No-Match Letters

As you likely know, we work with a lot of attorneys on labor and immigration issues. Sometimes those issues overlap, especially in agriculture. One of the law firms we turn to a lot is Fisher and Phillips. They have feet in many facets of labor law and immigration as well so we trust what they say. Until today, F&P hasn’t had guidance on the new no-match letters. We encourage you to read the document linked below if you have have received a no-match letter already.

Apparently not many gins have received these letters and that’s good. For those of you that have, there has been a good bit of trepidation about what to do. A couple weeks ago, we posted a guidance document from some other attorneys that work in these fields. Now we have another in-depth document written by folks that understand ag as well. We will send out additional documents tomorrow or early next week but we wanted to get this guidance in front of you as soon as possible.

Give us a call if you have any questions.



SSA No-Match Guidance

In the past few weeks the Social Security Administration began sending out letters to employers informing them of a number of names that didn’t match the social security numbers submitted in the employer’s wage statements. The SSA hadn’t sent these letters our for nearly a decade. This year’s letters are significantly different from years’ past in that they didn’t contain any information on specific employees in most cases.

The National Council of Ag Employers along with other organizations was provided guidance on how to handle these letters. Please follow the link below to that guidance. The guidance gives a couple different paths you can take in responding to the letters. Read the guidance carefully multiple times before deciding what route to follow. None are wrong.

Please give us a call if you have any questions.



SSA No-Match Letters Going Out

This is just a quick note to make you aware that the Social Security Administration has begun sending out letters to employers commonly known as No-Match letters. These letters were commonplace a decade ago but the SSA stopped sending them out in about 2011.

These letters do not tell you exactly which employees have names and social security numbers that don’t match. They only typically tell you to go to a SSA website to find out who they are. They encourage you to use a system on the site that checks the names and numbers. We are in the process of gathering more information and formulating a proper response to these letters.

We will post a longer article soon or contact gins directly regarding the response employers should have in reaction to these letters. In the meantime please let us know if you received an SSA No-Match letter. More to follow.