• Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testified before House committees Friday that Japan is the problem in completing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations.

    Froman says all eyes are on Japan as they continue to keep sensitive products, including agriculture products, off the table for negotiations. He says it is time for Japan to step up to the plate and agree to the same level of ambition as other TPP countries.

    Vilsack says the U.S. must see increased market access or there may not be a deal or Japan may not be part of the deal.

  • Through the U.S. Forest Service more than $300 million will be paid to 41 states and Puerto Rico to support local schools and roads as part of Congress’ Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

    The payments can be used to support public schools and public roads, for projects to maintain and improve forest health and other community projects

    Examples include Firewise Communities programs, reimbursements for emergency services on national forests and development of wildfire protection plans.