By: Steven Harris, Director, Policy Development and Regulatory Compliance, Food Marketing Institute

GR Year End Report2019 started off a little differently than most years in Washington with a partial government shutdown underway, while the 116thCongress gaveled in with dozens of new lawmakers and new leadership in the House. While we help our members navigate through the effects of the government shutdown and meet with the newly elected members of Congress, we also wanted to look back and highlight the industry’s achievements from 2018 in our recently released 2018 FMI government relations end of year report.

Our report highlights our efforts on many different types of issues throughout 2018, including the passage of a multi-year Farm Bill, a USDA rulemaking to establish a national bioengineered food disclosure standard and the ongoing trade negotiations in North America and among our trading partners across the globe. Our ongoing push to protect confidential store-level business information has made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with oral arguments and a decision expected later this year. We also engaged with the administration and member companies to ensure a fair and effective implementation of the landmark tax reform law.

The list of topics goes on in large part because of the challenges and complexities of this industry. Regardless of the high or low-profile nature of these issues, each success makes a difference. Each success will help companies make new investments in their businesses and their workforce, hire new employees and continue to pursue new innovations.

Thank you to our members for their hard work and achievements in 2018; and we look forward to working together on many new challenges and opportunities in 2019. We anticipate creating new working relationships with the new Congress and hope to strengthen our connections with policymakers in the regulatory agencies when the government shutdown is resolved.