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USMCA Is done. Here's what's in it. 

Trump’s victory: Canada opens up its milk market to U.S. farmers. Trump tweeted often about how unfair he thought it was that Canada charged such high tariffs on U.S. dairy products. Canada has a complex milk and dairy system. To ensure Canadian dairy farmers don’t go bankrupt, the Canadian government restricts how much dairy can be produced in the country and how much foreign dairy can enter to keep milk prices high.

Under the USMCA, Canada is keeping most of its complex system in place, but U.S. farmers will be able to sell more “Class 7” dairy products to Canada, everything from milk powder to ice cream. The USMCA also allows more sales of U.S. eggs and turkeys to Canada.

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USDA Issues Final Regulation on ABAWD SNAP Recipients

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule that would make it more difficult for states to gain waivers for work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) who are beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Current SNAP statute limits adults to three months of benefits within a three-year period unless the individuals work or participate in work training for 20+ hours per week. States have had the ability to apply for waivers that would shield able-bodied adults without dependents from the time limit included in these federal work requirements. States can currently receive waivers for work requirements if their unemployment rates are at least 20 percent higher than the national rate. The final rule will retain states’ statutory flexibility to waive the time limit in high unemployment areas but will impose stricter standards for the waivers.

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Judge STOPS San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance From Going Into Effect

San Antonio City Council votes 9-2 for an ordinance mandating a paid sick leave during their meeting August 16, 2018. The law had been scheduled to go into effect Dec 1, but state District Judge Peter Sakai issued a ruling Friday, November 22, 2019 that stops it, at least temporarily. 

This is a controversial law that aims to require retailers to provide paid sick leave to an estimated 354,000 workers. 

The retail industry is among the best in providing benefits to its thousands of employees. In fact, many retailers have benefits that are more generous than those being mandated by blanket ordinances like the ones being passed in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. In this instance, one size definitely does not fit all. 

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 The Toy Association Urges Families to Follow Important Tips for Safe Play

With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the frenzy of buying gifts and overlook safety. But before you start checking off your list, be sure to follow these toy shopping tips from PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association’s reliable resource for parents and caregivers. Click here for tips on how to buy safe toys this holiday season. Be sure to share with these tips with grandparents and gift-givers to help ensure safe play all year long. And it’s important to always supervise children at play. More toy safety tips can be found at www.PlaySafe.org.

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Federal Update

TARIFFS: Over the past few weeks, there have been some positive developments and rhetoric surrounding the trade war with China. First, a “Phase 1” mini trade deal was announced by the US and China, which would stall the trade war essentially as where we sit at the moment. Not a full ending of it, but essentially a truce to allow for progress to =be made on a larger deal. There is more information on the developments surrounding "Phase 1" here. Additionally, in the run up to having the "Phase 1” deal signed by Presidents Trump and Xi, there has been talk of actually rolling back some of the current tariffs.  Although this has not been confirmed by either country, neither country is pouring cold water on the idea either, so we are hopeful that any tariff rollbacks are included in the ultimate "Phase 1" deal that is signed soon.

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Various TRA Member Representatives meeting with Senator Ted Cruz

Congratulations to the 2019 Texas Retail Industry Awards Winners!

Macy's - Large Retailer of the Year
The Luggage Shop of Lubbock - Small Retailer of the Year
Altria - Education Champion of the Year
Kroger - Grocer of the Year
Ron Rehkopf - Lifetime Achievement Award
John Raney - State Legislative Champion
Will Hurd - Congressional Legislative Champion