Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 6.25

Monday, June 25th, 2018


June 25, 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. Next week Congress will be on recess for the Fourth of July. MTA’s Food and Agriculture Update will return to your inbox on Monday, July 9.
  • Senate Farm Bill Expected on Floor– The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote tonight that will move the bill forward for consideration on the floor. If Senate Majority Leader McConnell limits amendments, the bill may be on its way to conference as early as this week.
  • House Farm Bill Passes by “Razor Thin” Margin House Republicans passed their version of the farm bill on Thursday, with a vote of 213-211. In an interview, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway (R-TX) said he knew the vote was going to be “razor thin”. Conaway also added that he is optimistic about the farm bill process, despite differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
  • Trump Proposes Tariffs with China –   After a pause in May’s tit-for-tat posturing, President Trump threatened to impose additional tariffs on China of up to $450 billion. The measure triggered an immediate response from Beijing to impose “qualitative and quantitative” tariffs of an equivalent amount. It remains to be seen if China’s threat of countermeasures will affect the administration’s strategy.
  • Cheese Industry Watching Market Loss- As the dairy industry faces tariffs from Mexico and Canada, exporters are concerned about the ripple effect that may ensue. Mexico is now America’s largest export market for cheese, in large part due to NAFTA. However, as international rivals move forward with trade agreements of their own, foreign cheesemakers  have begun carving out protections for specific cheeses in their trade agreements. Read more from the New York Times here.
  • Immigration Debate Continues in the House- A compromise immigration bill may receive a vote this week after further negotiations on the bill.  The vote was postponed last Thursday to give lawmakers time to negotiate over the weekend.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • Jean Hovland to be the Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans at the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Christopher Krebs to be Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs at the Department of Homeland Security.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, June 26

  • Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban affairs will examine “Legislative Proposals to Increase Access to Capital”.
  • House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a legislative hearing on “Offshore Renewable Energy Opportunities”.

Wednesday, June 27

  • House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will discuss the administration’s government-wide reorganization plan.
  • House Committee on Natural Resources will markup several bills including those that address offshore renewable energy opportunities and oil and gas drilling.

MTA In Action
Highlights in the week ahead for Michael Torrey Associates

  • Tara Smith will moderate the Public Policy Panel at I am FarmHer, a national event that brings together producers and industry leaders to discuss agricultural policy, industry engagement, and health, among other topics. Other speakers on the panel include Laurie Hueneke, Executive Director of Global Public Policy & Government Relations at Merck Animal Health; Julie Anna Potts, Executive Vice President at American Farm Bureau Federation; and Barbara Glenn, Ph.D., CEO at NASDA.

Last week, MTA’s work with the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau was honored at the annual Agricultural Relations Council “Golden ARC” Awards. MTA created and implemented CIRB’s weekly #ProtectCropInsurance social media campaign which received first place in the social media tactic category. The campaign provides a weekly toolkit with turnkey content for crop insurance allies to customize and share on social media. For 2017, MTA created a total of 39 weekly toolkits that were shared with CIRB members and coalition partners, with a potential reach to 440,000+ Twitter users. The campaign to protect crop insurance in the farm bill continues.


MTA’s Kerry Lynch receiving the “Golden ARC” Award from the Agricultural Relations Council in Louisville, KY.

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker

104 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018).