WEEKLY FOOD & AGRICULTURE UPDATE 5.13
WEEKLY FOOD & AGRICULTURE UPDATE
May 13, 2019
A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Marissa Dake.
Big Picture Outlook
- US Imposes More Tariffs, China Retaliates- On Friday, the United States raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, accusing the country of walking back commitments they had made during previous negotiating sessions. In response, the Chinese government said they would take “necessary countermeasures”, and announced they will be imposing new retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, set to take effect on June 1. US farmers have been among the hardest hit in the trade war. USDA Secretary Perdue said Friday that the administration will be looking at another round of trade aid to assist those impacted by the tariff measures
- Senate Ag Considers USDA Nominees- The Senate Agriculture Committee will re-consider thenomiations for three top USDA positions this week: Dr. Mindy Brashears is nominated to be Under Secretary for Food Safety, Naomi Earp to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and Dr. Scott Hutchins to be Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. The Senate Agriculture Committee had advanced the group to the full Senate in December, but the nominations expired with the end of the 115th Congress. The three have been working in “deputy” roles at USDA while they await confirmation.
Nominations & Confirmations
- Kimberly Reed was confirmed to be President of the Export-Import Bank.
- Judith DelZoppo Pryor and Spencer Bachus III were confirmed to be Members of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank.
The Week Ahead
- The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a markup to vote on the nominations of Mindy Brashears to be Agriculture Undersecretary for Food Safety; Naomi Earp to be an Assistant Agriculture Secretary for Civil Rights; and Scott Hutchins to be Agriculture Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics.
- The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry will review USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs.
- The House Natural Resources Committee will consider the FY20 budget for the Interior Department.
- The Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee will examine the FY20 budget proposal for the US Forest Service.
- As a part of Infrastructure Week, the National Association of Counties and National League of Cities will host “Broadband and Bagels: Using Broadband to Close the Urban-Rural Divide“.
- The 2019 Agricultural Research Congressional Exhibition and Reception will be from 5:30-7:30pm in the Rayburn House Office Cafeteria. The exhibit will feature USDA-funded research from the AFRI Coalition, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research and Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation.
- USDA Secretary Perdue is slated to meet with Korean Minister of Agricultural Gae Ho Lee and Minister of Food and Drug Safety Eui Kyung Lee. On Saturday, he met with Japan’s minister of agriculture, Takamori Yoshikawa.
MTA in Action
On Thursday, the MTA team attended the DC Central Kitchen Hungry for Change breakfast. DC Central Kitchen is a community kitchen that targets ending the cycle of hunger and poverty. Their programs include providing culinary job training, serving community and farm-to-school meals, resourcing food deserts and eliminating food waste on college campuses. Learn more about the DCCK and its opportunities to donate or volunteer.
A Quick Look Back
- Western Hemisphere Agriculture Leaders on Food Security and Ag Trade
- Faced with Possible Relocation, USDA’s ERS Employees Vote to Unionize
- California moves to ban farm pesticide that Trump’s EPA has defended
- House Passes Plus-Upped Disaster Aid Package
- FDA Sampling Frozen Berries for Harmful Viruses
- Food Fight: Trump Administration Levels Tariffs On Mexican Tomatoes
- Senate Confirms Trio of Export-Import Bank Officials