FAA Releases Drone Registration – Rulemaking Process has Begun

November 23, 2015, Elizabeth A Tennyson, AOPA Communications – The FAA has accepted the final recommendations of its drone registration task force and begun the rulemaking process, moving the agency one step closer to establishing registration procedures ahead of anticipated record holiday sales of drones. The task force, which included AOPA, focused on producing recommendations that would encourage compliance by making registration easy and free while including an educational component to help drone owners understand the rules affecting their operations.  The FAA said it has been working on a proposed rule to govern drone registration, which is now under review by the FAA and Department of Transportation, but no timeline has been set for completing the rulemaking process.

“The real goal is to create a culture of accountability and safety—and that means giving operators the information they need to fly safely while making it as easy as possible for them to participate in the system,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs, who represented the association on the panel. “This is a good start, but the drone industry is relatively new, and we need to be prepared to make adjustments as we learn more.”

In addition to AOPA, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration Task Force Aviation Rulemaking Committee included 24 organizations representing the manned and unmanned aircraft communities, drone manufacturers, and retailers such as Amazon and Walmart that hope to use drones in their businesses.

“Coming to consensus on the complex issues surrounding drone registration was challenging given the short time period and diverse perspectives in the group,” said Coon. “Throughout the process AOPA argued for rules that would ensure safety, protect the National Airspace System, and support participation and innovation in the drone community. We hope to see the drone industry continue to develop technical solutions that will help make it possible for them to safely share the National Airspace System with manned aircraft.”

The group’s final recommendations include creating an electronic registration system accessible through the Web or an app, providing an electronic certificate of registration and a personal registration number that can be used on all of an owner’s UAS, and requiring that the registration number (or registered serial number) be marked on all UAS before they are flown.

The task force recommended that any drone with a maximum takeoff weight of 250 grams, just under 9 ounces, or more be registered. But several task force members suggested that a heavier weight might be more appropriate. AOPA and others noted that very little research has been done on the effects of a small drone strike, making it difficult to make a well-reasoned recommendation as to what size drone poses a meaningful threat. They urged the FAA to expedite its research in that area and review the weight requirement for registration based on its findings.

Under the task force recommendations, drone owners would need to provide their name and address in order to receive a registration number. Providing email addresses and phone numbers would be optional.

Drone owners would need to complete a one-time online registration form, submitting information such as name, phone number and address. Unlike a driver’s license, registration would not require an operator to pass a flying test.  Drone owners would then receive a registration number to mark on all their drones. The drone owner would have the same registration number their entire life and would only need to revisit the website if they were to change personal information, such as their address. Before selling a drone, owners would remove their registration number, and the new owner would attach their number.

Owners also would have the option to provide the serial number for their aircraft, which could then be used as the registration number, in most cases eliminating the need to mark the aircraft. Otherwise the FAA-assigned registration number would need to be marked in a “readily accessible” location—defined as a place that can be viewed without using tools—on the aircraft.

To protect children, the panel recommended that no one under the age of 13 be allowed to register an aircraft, instead requiring younger owners to register under the name of a parent or guardian.

And to help drone operators fly safely, the task force recommended that the registration process contain an educational component that could be similar to the information provided by the Know Before You Fly campaign.

The FAA established the task force to come up with solutions for identifying the operators behind reckless drone flights. Earlier 2015,  a drone crashed near the White House, and another crashed into the seating area at the U.S. Open.

The FAA is working with manufacturers and UAS organizations on safety efforts like “Know Before You Fly” (http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/ ) to educate unmanned aircraft users about where they can operate within the rules. The agency is also supporting the National Interagency Fire Center’s “If You Fly, We Can’t” efforts to help reduce interference with firefighting operations.

The FAA also asks that pilots or any concerned citizens report unauthorized drone operation to local law enforcement. The FAA wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal. Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time.

 

Salute to Our Nation’s Veterans

November 11, 2015, Washington, DC – US House Committee on Agriculture -Today our nation recognizes the more than 25 million veterans who have worn the uniform and upheld their oath to defend America with honor and integrity. On November 11, 1918, the Allied Powers and Germany signed an armistice that ended World War I. To commemorate the war’s end, President Woodrow Wilson declared that November 11should be remembered as Armistice Day – a holiday to honor the brave sacrifices of the American soldiers who defended democracy and freedom overseas. Today, we know it as Veterans Day.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I am always focused on ways to support and provide for the men and women who have served in the armed forces, whether past or present. Now, as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ve had the honor of meeting many veterans whose contributions to our country go well beyond their actions on the battlefield. Many have gone from defending our soil to now working our soil.

Veterans possess a unique set of skills and the character needed in agricultural communities. Rigorous military training instills in them a determination to succeed, a commitment to finish what they start, and the discipline necessary for long-term missions, whether it’s fighting the war on terror or growing and creating food systems. Likewise, a life devoted to agriculture is one that offers purpose, opportunity, and a sense of being a part of something larger than one’s self. Both of these career paths are callings. They are not 9-5 jobs with set hours, stable conditions, or any guarantees. However, both are essential to every American’s livelihood.

There are many wonderful organizations and charities around the country that realize this bond between agriculture and veterans and assist the transition from military to civilian life. The Farmer Veteran Coalition, for example, operates the Homegrown by Heroes program, a product labeling program that identifies, promotes and supports agricultural products grown and raised by U.S. veterans and those still serving in any branch of the U.S. military. Only one year into its operation, Homegrown by Heroes includes more than 165 farmers and ranchers across 43 states. I had the honor of meeting many farmer veterans who participate in Homegrown by Heroes earlier this year who spoke to the immense value this program is to their new businesses’ success.

Programs like Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots, Troops to Tractors, Ground Operations, and many others nationwide offer various resources to veterans facing a daunting job market requiring skill sets quite unlike their own. I’m encouraged by the ingenuity of these programs and organizations that provide help, resources, and support for veterans while strengthening rural communities literally from the ground up.

One of the best ways we can honor the service and sacrifice of those who have worn the uniform is to support them and their families as best we can when they return to civilian life. Veterans are our fathers, our sons, our sisters and mothers. They are our neighbors and our friends. Their service has made our nation safer and more secure. To any veteran reading this message, thank you for your admirable service and for contributing to the greatest legacy of heroism and patriotism the world will ever know. May God continue to bless our troops, our veterans, and the United States of America.

AGRINET Week in Review Ending November 8

Agrinet Week in Review Ending 11-8-15

Statement by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on the Release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Text

November 5, 2015, Washington, DC-“The completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a testament to our Administration’s strong commitment to strengthening America’s competitiveness, increasing opportunities for our businesses and workers, promoting our values worldwide, and raising the global standard of living. It’s a forward-thinking deal that improves America’s access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world and includes the largest expansion of labor rights in history, the most far-reaching environmental commitments of any international agreement, and first-of-its kind provisions to promote innovation and strengthen the digital economy. In short, it is an agreement that should make Americans proud.”

House Agriculture Committee Examines the Relationship Between Agriculture and National Security

November 4, 2015 WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. House Agriculture Committee held its first in a new series of hearings to examine the relationship between agriculture and national security. In the opening hearing, members and witnesses examined the threats and vulnerabilities to agricultural security as well as the economic significance associated with such threats.

Members of the Agriculture Committee recognize the challenges faced by American agriculture and the need to build a stronger coalition among rural and urban interests that not only support agriculture policy, but also understand the role U.S. agriculture plays in maintaining a strong U.S. economy and stability around the world. With fewer and fewer Americans connected to production agriculture, many in Congress fail to recognize the importance of sound farm policy to our national security.

“The bottom line is that a nation that can feed and provide for itself is inherently safer than a nation that cannot. The United States is blessed with an abundant and safe food supply thanks to more than 2 million farmers and ranchers who dutifully tend to their fields and pastures. Many countries around the globe periodically, or constantly, face the threat of food instability that leads to hunger and starvation. By surveying these global issues, as well as domestic threats like pests, disease, and economic threats, it’s easy to see the interconnectedness of a stable food supply and national security. I want to thank our distinguished panelists for sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience and for giving us an enhanced global perspective of the importance of maintaining and protecting a safe food supply,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Chairman Conaway’s opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Ambassador John Negroponte, Vice Chairman, McLarty Associates, Washington, DC
Dr. Tammy R. Beckham, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University

Opening Statement: Chairman K. Michael Conaway
US House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture Hearing:  American Agriculture and Our National Security

Many of you may be wondering why the Committee on Agriculture would be holding a hearing on national security. A former Chairman of this committee, the Honorable Kika de la Garza, would often tell a story when he asked: “How long can a nuclear submarine stay under water?” The simple answer, until it runs out of food.

With fewer and fewer Americans connected to production agriculture, many in Congress fail to recognize the importance of sound agricultural policy to our national security. Sitting on the Armed Services Committee and now chairing the Agriculture Committee, I find myself in a position to highlight this important relationship.

Agriculture and national security are intertwined in many different ways – whether it is ensuring that food is available to meet nutritional needs for both those within our own borders as well as those around the world, or ensuring that food coming into our borders is disease and pest free, or guaranteeing that farmers and ranchers have the needed policy tools in place to continue producing food and fiber.

It is my hope in this hearing we can begin to examine the threats and vulnerabilities to agricultural security, as well as discuss the economic significance associated with those threats.

The food and agriculture industry in the United States is not only crucial to the public health and welfare of this nation, but is an important force in the economic, social and political fabric here AND abroad. The US food and agriculture industry is almost entirely under private ownership and is composed of an estimated 2.2 million farms, which are the foundations of our nearly $1 trillion food and fiber business with over $150 billion in exports for FY 2014. In 2013, 16.9 million full and part time jobs were related to agriculture, which is approximately 9.2 percent of total U.S. employment.

From a security standpoint, there are an array of sectors ranging from farms with relatively open croplands to highly secure food and dairy processing facilities. At the retail end, small neighborhood cafes operate in markets with large supermarket chains and nationally franchised restaurants. Continuous changes in the way that food is produced, distributed, and consumed present new challenges for ensuring its safety and security.

While increasing global trade presents opportunities for raising food safety and quality standards to levels commensurate with those of the United States, it also means increasing the amount of food coming into this country. In fact, the total volume of U.S. food imports has increased 60% over the last decade. This heightens the importance of ensuring that products entering our borders meet our quality and safety standards.

Near-term threats to food security include weather, conflict, diseases, resource constraints, and environmental degradation. For example, large exportable supplies of key components of food production—such as phosphates, potash, and fuel oil—come from states where conflict or government actions could cause supply chain disruptions that lead to price spikes. In addition, monitoring and controlling outbreaks of agricultural diseases will become increasingly difficult as the world becomes more integrated, disease vectors shift, and domestic animal populations grow and become more concentrated.

Historically, our food safety, plant protection and animal health regulatory systems have assumed the accidental contamination of food or inadvertent introduction of animal disease or plant pest. The prospect of an intentional, or terrorist, attack on our food and agriculture industry raises grave concerns that present challenges for producers and policy makers alike. We intend to dive deeper into the federal role and responsibility for preventing, detecting and responding to emergencies in future hearings.

I want to thank our distinguished panel for joining us today to discuss the role U.S. agriculture plays in maintaining a strong U.S. economy and stability around the world.

Today we will hear from Ambassador Negroponte who served as the first ever Director of National Intelligence. Prior to this appointment, he served as the US Deputy Secretary of State and had several appointments as US Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq. He has first-hand experience protecting the national security of this country, and I want to thank him for his service and leadership.

I also look forward to hearing from Dr. Tammy Beckham, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Dean Beckham has also has served as director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases; director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory; director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center; and she served as a captain in the U.S. Army where she served at the Army’s Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

While much of today’s hearing will focus on threats and vulnerabilities to domestic and international food security, we must remember the importance of our producers here at home. America has the safest, most affordable, most abundant food supply in the history of the world, and that is not by accident – it is by design. Sound agricultural policy has been an integral piece of our ability to feed and clothe not only our nation, but the world. Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, and throughout history America has been able to not only survive, but thrive because our agricultural safety net helps farmers weather the bad times. We must never forget that there is no food without the farmer.

President George W. Bush eloquently summed it up when he said “We’re a blessed nation because we can grow our own food. A nation that can feed its people is a nation more secure.”

Obama Notification to the Congress on AGOA Program Change

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

November 4, 2015- THE WHITE HOUSE–In accordance with section 506A(a)(3)(B) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, as amended (AGOA) (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)(3)(B)), I am providing notification of my intent to terminate the designation of the Republic of Burundi (Burundi) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under AGOA.

I am taking this step because I have determined that the Government of Burundi has not established or is not making continual progress toward establishing the rule of law and political pluralism, as required by the AGOA eligibility requirements outlined in section 104 of the AGOA (19 U.S.C. 3703).  In particular, the continuing crackdown on opposition members, which has included assassinations, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and torture, have worsened significantly during the election campaign that returned President Nkurunziza to power earlier this year.  In addition, the Government of Burundi has blocked opposing parties from holding organizational meetings and campaigning throughout the electoral process.  Police and armed youth militias with links to the ruling party have intimidated the opposition, contributing to nearly 200,000 refugees fleeing the country since April 2015.  Accordingly, I intend to terminate the designation of Burundi as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under AGOA as of January 1, 2016.

BARACK OBAMA

“We are disappointed that South Africa has yet to resolve these issues,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.  “We do not take this decision lightly, and, in fact, have been working hard over many months – indeed years – to help South Africa avoid such action.  Unfortunately, the issues persist.  We have, however, seen some important engagement by South Africa in recent days and remain hopeful that it will meet the mutually-agreed benchmarks relating to eliminating barriers to U.S. poultry, pork, and beef to avoid a suspension of AGOA benefits.”

We will closely monitor developments in this area and consider taking further steps as necessary to ensure the requirements of the AGOA legislation are met.

U.S.-China Seed Associations Sign MOU to Expand Collaboration

November 4, 2015, Alexandria, VA-The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and the China National Seed Association (CNSA) recently extended a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation on mutual priorities for the seed industries of each country.  The MOU, signed on October 27 at the CNSA office in Beijing, extends the original agreement for three years and creates a Coordinating Committee of company representatives to track progress and work to ensure future programs align with the MOU’s goals.

“This MOU is another important step forward in strengthening the relationship and opportunities between the U.S. and Chinese seed industries,” said ASTA President and CEO Andy LaVigne.  “In extending this agreement, both parties are reaffirming the value and need for cooperation toward achieving mutual economic goals.”

Since the signing of the original MOU in December, 2012, the two organizations have held a dozen successful events to promote intellectual property rights, high-quality seed, technology transfer and science-based phytosanitary measures.

“In the past few years, we have made great progress in promoting mutual interests through our increased cooperation, information exchanges and training sessions,” said LaVigne.  “The U.S. and Chinese seed industries are critical to addressing global challenges to economic and food security; and we look forward to continuing to work together to address these challenges and build a stronger future for both nations, and the world.”

Included in the most recent MOU is the creation of a Coordinating Committee, comprised of ASTA and CNSA member companies, to help guide future initiatives and evaluate completed efforts.

The ASTA delegation to China included: Risa DeMasi, Chair; Mark Herrmann, First Vice Chair; John Schoenecker, Immediate Past Chair; Tim Johnson, Immediate Past Chair, International Seed Federation; Andy LaVigne, President and CEO; and Michelle Klieger, Director, International Programs and Policy.

September Aerial photo

DUPONT CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST CELLULOSIC ETHANOL PLANT

DuPont’s Cellulosic Technology Positioned to Transform Transportation Energy Supply with 90 Percent Cleaner Fuel from Biomass

Technology Expected to Create Rural Economic Opportunities throughout the Globe

October 30, 2015, NEVADA, Iowa– DuPont celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, with a ceremony including Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and many other dignitaries. This biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of clean fuel that offers a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline.

The raw material used to produce the ethanol is corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. The facility will demonstrate at commercial scale that non-food feedstocks from agriculture can be the renewable raw material to power the future energy demands of society. Cellulosic ethanol will further diversify the transportation fuel mix just as wind and solar are expanding the renewable options for power generation, Re●Form●Energy Around the World.

DuPont brings an unparalleled combination of science competencies and almost 90 years of agronomy expertise in Iowa to develop both a pioneering clean fuel and biomass supply chain. Vital to the supply chain and the entire operation of the Nevada biorefinery are close to 500 local farmers, who will provide the annual 375,000 dry tons of stover needed to produce this cellulosic ethanol from within a 30-mile radius of the facility. In addition to providing a brand-new revenue stream for these growers, the plant will create 85 full-time jobs at the plant and more than 150 seasonal local jobs in Iowa.

“Iowa has a rich history of innovation in agriculture,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “Today we celebrate the next chapter in that story, using agricultural residue as a feedstock for fuel, which brings both tremendous environmental benefits to society and economic benefits to the state. The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.”

Biomass-based businesses can bring new sources of revenue and high-tech opportunities to rural economies around the world. As a global company with operations in more than 90 countries, DuPont is uniquely positioned to deploy its cellulosic technology for a global rollout, in transportation fuel and other industries.

Infographic: Reform Energy  Fact Sheet: The DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol Facility 

“Today, we fulfill our promise to the global biofuels industry with the dedication of our Iowa facility,” said William F. Feehery, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “And perhaps more significantly, we fulfill our promise to society to bring scientific innovation to the market that positively impacts people’s lives. Cellulosic biofuel is joining ranks with wind and solar as true alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing damaging environmental impacts and increasing our energy security.”

In Asia, DuPont recently announced its first licensing agreement with New Tianlong Industry to build China’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, and last fall a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was announced between DuPont, Ethanol Europe and the government of Macedonia to develop a second-generation biorefinery project. The company also is working in partnership with Procter & Gamble to use cellulosic ethanol in North American Tide® laundry detergents.

The majority of the fuel produced at the Nevada, Iowa, facility will be bound for California to fulfill the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard where the state has adopted a policy to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels. The plant also will serve as a commercial-scale demonstration of the cellulosic technology where investors from all over the world can see firsthand how to replicate this model in their home regions.

DuPont’s achievement provides the technology that will transform the U.S. fuel supply enabling a transition to fulfill the original cellulosic ethanol volume targets as Congress intended when it passed the Renewable Fuel Standard, a regulation established in 2005 to encourage growth and investment in sustainable fuel solutions. Earlier this month, DuPont and America’s Renewable Future released new poll findings that suggested Iowa caucus-goers from both parties – 61 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats – would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports the Renewable Fuel Standard and renewable fuels.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com/.

Tide® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble.

Videos: 

The Boy Who Made Something Out Of Anything – DuPont Creates Cellulosic Ethanol from Crop Waste: https://youtu.be/js4Bo5xdHQg

How it Works: DuPont Integrated Process for Converting Biomass to Cellulosic Ethanol: https://youtu.be/77Mu-0fGJ2s

Building the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery: https://youtu.be/eYid02qL-0g

House Agriculture Committee Action on Foreign Ag Subsidies

On Wednesday, October 21, the House Agriculture Committee held its second hearing to examine foreign agricultural subsidies. Members and witnesses discussed the trade-distorting effects of the ever increasing subsidies utilized by our foreign competitors, emphasized the resulting injury to American producers, and reaffirmed the need for sound U.S. farm policy as a modest response.

In 2014, U.S. agriculture exports reached a record-setting $152.5 billion, highlighting the importance of expanded trade and strong trade agreements to U.S. agriculture. However, as China, India, and other foreign countries continue to ignore their WTO commitments, America’s farmers and ranchers suffer real and significant consequences. We cannot allow these actions by our foreign competitors to undermine our trade agenda and destroy American jobs, businesses and our economy. By pushing back on bad actors and maintaining strong U.S. farm policy, we can give our farmers and ranchers a fighting chance in the global marketplace. I appreciate the perspective of our witnesses today who clearly outlined the harm that foreign subsidies are causing to U.S. agriculture,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below with Chairman Conaway’s opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Dr. Dermot Hayes, Professor and Pioneer Chair in Agribusiness, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Dr. Gary Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Cotton Council, Cordova, TN

Mr. Jack Roney, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis, American Sugar Alliance, Arlington, VA

Mr. Jaime Castaneda, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Trade Policy, National Milk Producers Federation, Arlington, VA

The House Ag Committee will continue to oversee this issue and push back on foreign countries that continue to ignore their WTO commitments to give U.S. farmers and ranchers a fighting chance in the global marketplace.

China Reverses its One Child Only Policy

Oct. 30, 2015 Bloomberg News– China ended one of the most ambitious demographic experiments in human history, abandoning the limit of one child for most families to foster the population growth required by the world’s second-biggest economy.

Introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to husband a then-impoverished nation’s scarce resources, the baby limit now threatens to undermine growth: the working-age population shrank last year for the first time in two decades and the cohort of senior citizens is projected to grow rapidly.

The Communist Party’s Central Committee’s decision to allow all couples to have two children was disclosed by the Xinhua news agency, citing a communique released at the end of a four-day party policy meeting in Beijing. A previous effort to relax the policy fell well short of the goal of boosting births by 2 million a year. “It shows the party wants to take action as soon as possible, and shows there is no time to delay for China to modify its population policy,” said Wang Yukai, a professor at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Governance. “They couldn’t wait for the legislation to pass next year. Leaders want the new policy now.”

The changes are part of President Xi Jinping’s blueprint to manage the economy’s shift to slower, more balanced growth. The new five-year plan represents Xi’s best chance to implement social and economic reforms outlined since he took power in 2012 and avoid falling into the “middle-income trap” of stagnation.

Economic Transition:  China is trying to complete its transition from a investment-and-export-dependent developing nation to a “moderately prosperous society” with an economy powered by services, consumers and innovation. Xi has said the China needs to accept a “new normal” of slower expansion after three decades when growth averaged about 10 percent.

The five-year plan “is the decisive phase for achieving a moderately well-off society,” the Central Committee said. Demonstrating Xi’s interest in the plan, the president personally presented its details to the committee. Xi has defined the phrase to mean a doubling of GDP and per capita income over the decade through 2020.

One-Child Policy: Shares of France’s Danone SA, one of the world’s biggest producers of baby formula, rose as much as 3 percent to the highest since April after the changes in family-planning policies were announced. Procter & Gamble Co., maker of Pampers, added as much as 0.4 percent.

The “one-child” policy, which limited couples to one or two children depending on ethnic background and where they live, was a cornerstone of late leader Deng’s effort to build an economy ruined by decades of war and the ideology-fueled reign of Communist Party founder Mao Zedong. When the policy was adopted, the thinking was that the birth rate of almost 3 children per woman was a drag on growth.

Since then, China’s population has grown to about 1.36 billion, almost 20 percent of the world’s total, up from about 930 million in 1976. India, with about 1.3 billion people, is projected to pass China within the next decade, according to World Bank forecasts.

After decades of discouraging people from having children, the challenge is changing the mindset of potential parents worried about the costs of expanding their families. Only 1.1 million of the 11 million couples eligible to have second child under a previous policy relaxation in December 2013 applied for permission, according to Xinhua.

Economic Blueprints:  Allowing all couples to have two children could add 3 million to 8 million births annually, according to Huang Wenzheng, a demographer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The communique said the government would continue to manage family planning decisions, despite the relaxation.

The Central Committee’s communique marks the first step in the official roll-out of the 2016-20 blueprint. More details are expected in coming days with the release of the draft plan, which won’t be completed until the national legislature approves it next year.

The plan — a Soviet-style holdover of the centrally planned economy — guides China’s policies on everything from health care and family-planning to steel production and technology research. It also gives the leadership an opportunity to reassert its commitment to market-based reform after rescuing indebted local governments and a plunging stock market earlier in the year.

Among other things, the party is seeking to eradicate poverty as defined under current standards, lifting the country’s remaining 70 million poor people above the poverty line by the end of the decade, according to the communique. It wants to boost social programs, reduce price controls and institutionalize Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.

The plan would call for making China an Internet powerhouse and carrying out what it described as a nationwide “big-data strategy.” It emphasizes green growth and promoting Xi’s “One Belt , One Road” infrastructure and trade initiative.

 

Ambassador Froman Statement on the Release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Text

November 5, 2015 Washington, DC – For the past five and half years, we have been working to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a high standard agreement which supports more well-paying American jobs, strengthens our middle class, and advances both our interests and our values abroad.  Today, we are pleased to announce that the complete TPP agreement is now publicly available at http://go.wh.gov/TPPText.

Continuing our commitment to transparency, this release complements a number of additional resources that we have made available on the same website, including state-by-state fact sheets, issue briefs, and chapter summaries.

First and foremost, TPP will position Americans to compete and win in tomorrow’s global economy. This is the first trade agreement to put a real focus on American small businesses who will gain powerful tools to help them export. This is the first trade agreement to put disciplines on state-owned enterprises to make sure that when they compete against our private firms, there’s a level playing field.  And this is the first trade agreement to take on the digital economy, ensuring that individual and businesses in America and around the world will benefit from the expanding opportunities offered by a free and open Internet.

Those are just three innovative ways that TPP advances what President Obama has called “middle-class economics—the idea that the country does best when everybody has got a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, everybody is playing by the same rules.” Importantly, TPP is also the largest tax cut on American exports in a generation, slashing over 18,000 individual taxes on the products American manufacturers make, American farmers grow, and American innovators create. By selling more Made-in-America products around the world, we’ll support more high-paying jobs here at home.

American values will be advanced along with our interests. With this agreement, we have an opportunity not only to promote growth, but to shape the framework in which that growth takes place. For example, through TPP, hundreds of millions of workers will have their basic labor rights recognized and gain tools to protect those rights. Our oceans, forests, and wildlife will gain important new protections, too, thanks to the highest environmental standards of any regional trade agreement. By making these commitments fully enforceable, TPP will help ensure that trade-driven growth is inclusive and sustainable.

I would also encourage everyone to take a moment to consider the costs of not moving forward with this agreement.  U.S. leadership in writing the rules of the road for trade in the Asia-Pacific region is critical.  After all, this isn’t everyone’s approach to trade. Other countries, such as China, are already moving forward with deals that don’t reflect our interests and our values. Failure to pass TPP would come at a high price here at home: jobs lost, wages cut, and opportunity squandered. TPP promises to shape a better tomorrow: a global economy where more Americans get a fair shot, a U.S. economy with more higher-paying jobs, and American households with paychecks that go further.

The ultimate decision as to whether the United States leads on trade remains with America’s elected representatives, and we’ll continue to work closely with Congress and all stakeholders to ensure this agreement can begin delivering on its promise as soon as possible. As we continue this important conversation, I’m confident the American people will see this historic agreement for what it is: trade done right.

DuPont Celebrates the Opening of the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

DuPont’s Cellulosic Technology Positioned to Transform Transportation Energy Supply with 90 Percent Cleaner Fuel from Biomass

Technology Expected to Create Rural Economic Opportunities throughout the Globe

Oct. 30, 2015, NEVADA, Iowa – DuPont celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, with a ceremony including Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and many other dignitaries. This biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of clean fuel that offers a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline.

The raw material used to produce the ethanol is corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. The facility will demonstrate at commercial scale that non-food feedstocks from agriculture can be the renewable raw material to power the future energy demands of society. Cellulosic ethanol will further diversify the transportation fuel mix just as wind and solar are expanding the renewable options for power generation.

DuPont brings an unparalleled combination of science competencies and almost 90 years of agronomy expertise in Iowa to develop both a pioneering clean fuel and biomass supply chain. Vital to the supply chain and the entire operation of the Nevada biorefinery are close to 500 local farmers, who will provide the annual 375,000 dry tons of stover needed to produce this cellulosic ethanol from within a 30-mile radius of the facility. In addition to providing a brand-new revenue stream for these growers, the plant will create 85 full-time jobs at the plant and more than 150 seasonal local jobs in Iowa.

“Iowa has a rich history of innovation in agriculture,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “Today we celebrate the next chapter in that story, using agricultural residue as a feedstock for fuel, which brings both tremendous environmental benefits to society and economic benefits to the state. The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.”

Biomass-based businesses can bring new sources of revenue and high-tech opportunities to rural economies around the world. As a global company with operations in more than 90 countries, DuPont is uniquely positioned to deploy its cellulosic technology for a global rollout, in transportation fuel and other industries.

INFOGRAPHIC

FACT SHEET: The DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol Facility 

“Today, we fulfill our promise to the global biofuels industry with the dedication of our Iowa facility,” said William F. Feehery, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “And perhaps more significantly, we fulfill our promise to society to bring scientific innovation to the market that positively impacts people’s lives. Cellulosic biofuel is joining ranks with wind and solar as true alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing damaging environmental impacts and increasing our energy security.”

In Asia, DuPont recently announced its first licensing agreement with New Tianlong Industry to build China’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, and last fall a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was announced between DuPont, Ethanol Europe and the government of Macedonia to develop a second-generation biorefinery project. The company also is working in partnership with Procter & Gamble to use cellulosic ethanol in North American Tide® laundry detergents.

The majority of the fuel produced at the Nevada, Iowa, facility will be bound for California to fulfill the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard where the state has adopted a policy to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels. The plant also will serve as a commercial-scale demonstration of the cellulosic technology where investors from all over the world can see firsthand how to replicate this model in their home regions.

DuPont’s achievement provides the technology that will transform the U.S. fuel supply enabling a transition to fulfill the original cellulosic ethanol volume targets as Congress intended when it passed the Renewable Fuel Standard, a regulation established in 2005 to encourage growth and investment in sustainable fuel solutions. Earlier this month, DuPont and America’s Renewable Future released new poll findings that suggested Iowa caucus-goers from both parties – 61 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats – would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports the Renewable Fuel Standard and renewable fuels.

DuPont Celebrates the Opening of the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

DuPont Celebrates the Opening of the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com/.  Tide® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble.

Videos

The Boy Who Made Something Out Of Anything – DuPont Creates Cellulosic Ethanol from Crop Waste: https://youtu.be/js4Bo5xdHQg

How it Works: DuPont Integrated Process for Converting Biomass to Cellulosic Ethanol: https://youtu.be/77Mu-0fGJ2s

Building the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery: https://youtu.be/eYid02qL-0g

What is an Enzyme: https://youtu.be/XRbd1IWRW4I