EDITORIALS

Protecting mink farms from Washington overreach

Rep. Tom Tiffany

Recently Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) led 10 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman and Subcommittee on Waters, Oceans, and Wildlife Ranking Member Cliff Bentz urging them to oppose any effort to attach extraneous language prohibiting the purchase, sale, or transport of farmed mink to China-related legislation. 

Rep. Tom Tiffany says anti-ag provision in bill is a Washington-style sneak attack on mink farmers in Wisconsin and across U.S.

“The inclusion of this anti-agriculture provision in a bill that is supposed help us meet the economic and security challenges posed by Communist China is a typical, Washington-style sneak attack on mink farmers in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Congressman Tiffany. “The COMPETES Act is supposed to strengthen our trade and competitive stance with China. How does putting hardworking mink farmers out of business advance that goal?”

Included in the House version of H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, was a provision called the “MINKS” Amendment, which amends the Lacey Act to prohibit the purchase, sale, or transportation of farmed minks. Due to the differences between the House and the Senate version of the America COMPETES Act, a House-Senate Conference Committee has now been formed to iron out differences between versions of a bill passed by each chamber.

The group of lawmakers say they are standing for rural America and multi-generational family farms whose livelihoods would be destroyed by this provision.

"The goal of the America COMPETES Act is to strengthen our trade and competitive stance with China. This provision seeks to do the exact opposite and instead, would devastate mink farmers across America," said Rep. Tiffany adding that Wisconsin is the top mink producing state in the nation. "It's crucial that we make sure it isn’t snuffed out by outrageous Washington overreach."

Cosigners of the bill include: Reps. Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Chris Stewart (UT-02), Bryan Steil (WI-01), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Blake Moore (UT-01), Burgess Owens (UT-04), Mike Kelly (PA-16), and Fred Keller (PA-12)