Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 10.1

Monday, October 1st, 2018


October 1, 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 Senate is in session this week. The House will not meet until after the midterm elections.
  • USMCA Unveiled– The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was announced late last night after more than a year of negotiations to modernize the former tri-lateral trade agreement, NAFTA. Barely meeting the September 30th deadline, this breakthrough comes after the U.S. and Mexico announced intention to move towards a bilateral trade deal just a month ago. The new agreement includes additional dairy access for the U.S. and preservation of aspects of Chapter 19, among other compromises. In a joint statement, US Trade Representative Lightizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland said the USMCA “will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region.”
  • Farm Bill Expiration: Day 1-  On Friday, Congressional leadership announced that the House will be out of session for October, leaving the farm bill to expire and negotiations in limbo. In the meanwhile, USDA will continue administering programs with permanent authority and funding baselines. Other programs may see funding expire over time or lose their authorization altogether. In a statement to Politico, Agriculture Secretary Perdue said that USDA will “continue to implement provisions of the 2014 farm bill within the limits of the law and work with Congress, providing technical assistance as needed, until a new bill is passed.” Learn more about farm bill expiration and extension with this helpful guide, created by the MTA team.
  • Washington, Seoul Renegotiate KORUS – Six-year-old “KORUS” (also known as the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement) received an  upgrade last week, as President Trump and South Korean President Moon signed off on a renegotiated deal. The new version namely changes regulations surrounding cars, trucks, and other machinery. The original agreement helped US ag commodities like  beef and dairy build export markets in South Korea.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • Peter Feldman was confirmed to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Jackie Wolcott was confirmed as Representative of the US to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Representative of the US to the Vienna Office of the United Nations.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, October 3
  • The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will examine implementation of positive train control.
Thursday, October 4
  • The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to examine broadband, focusing on opportunities and challenges in Rural America

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker

  • 1 day since farm bill expiration (Sep. 30, 2018).
  • 36 days until midterm elections (Nov. 6, 2018).
  • 43 days until the Lame Duck session (Nov. 13, 2018).