Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 7.16
WEEKLY FOOD & AGRICULTURE UPDATE
July 16, 2018
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
- Schedule- The House and Senate remain in session this week.
- NAFTA Picks Back Up After Mexican Elections– On Friday, a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, DHS Secretary Nielsen, and White House senior adviser Kushner visited Mexico City to discuss the bilateral relationship. Though Mexico’s incoming President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador won’t officially take office until December 1, his administration is committed to a “united front” in NAFTA negotiations with Peña Nieto’s team. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Friday the two Mexican administrations are committed to working “at an accelerated pace to reach a successful [NAFTA] renegotiation as soon as it’s possible”. Videgary’s statements clear the way for talks between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. to resume.
- Lab Grown Meat in the Spotlight- The FDA hosted a public meeting on lab-grown animal products last Thursday, discussing future regulatory processes for the emerging sector. The process takes cells from animals that have been raised for food and grows them into tissue that can be used to make various products– from sausage to burgers to chicken nuggets. Currently the debate around the terminology used to describe these products has taken center stage with ideas like: cell-cultured meat, clean meat, artificial meat, and cultured tissue. Read more here.
Nominations & Confirmations
- Emory Rounds III to be Director of the Office of Government Ethics for a term of five years.
- Brian Benczkowski to be an Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice.
The Week Ahead
Monday, July 16
- The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a field hearing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin entitled, “Examining the Effect of Tariffs on Wisconsin Businesses”.
Tuesday, July 17
- The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing titled, “Realizing the Benefits of Rural Broadband: Challenges and Solutions”.
- The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will examine the Summer Food Service Program.
- The Governor of Wyoming, Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources will testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the Endangered Species Act.
Wednesday, July 18
- The Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness will discuss “Trade and Commerce at U.S. Ports of Entry”.
- The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hear from the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and four Commissioners to address the oversight of the FTC.
- House Ways and Means will hold a hearing on, “The Effects of Tariffs on U.S. Agriculture and Rural Communities”.
- The EPA will hold a public hearing on “Proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2019, and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020”.
Thursday, July 12
- The Senate Committee on Energy will hold a hearing on the Administration’s proposals to reorganize and modernize the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior.
A Quick Look Back
- Nafta Talks Likely to Wait Beyond July Given Full Agendas
- The Farcical Battle Over What to Call Lab-Grown Meat
- Flash Boys on the Farm? Arms Race Is Unleashed Over Crop Data
- USDA Appoints Members to National Dairy Promotion and Research Board
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces $25 Million TIGER Grant for Neb. Beltway Project
- USDA Partners to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for Nearly 250,000 People in 103 Communities
Pertinent Timing Ticker
76 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018).