Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 3.11

Monday, March 11th, 2019


March 11, 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

  • President’s Budget Released- As House and Senate Appropriation Committees have been gearing up for the FY 2020 budget process, President Trump has released his budget request this morning, which includes a proposed 16 percent decrease in funding for the USDA. The administration also suggested a 12 percent decrease for the Department for Health and Human Services, which houses the FDA. The budget “includes a bold set of proposals” to make farm safety net reforms, including one to reduce the average premium of subsidy for crop insurance from 62 percent to 48 percent. It also offers a “bold new approach” to the SNAP program, in which beneficiaries would receive “100-percent American grown foods provided directly to households.” Access the budget here.
  • US Removes India, Turkey from GSP – On Tuesday, the Trump administration announcedthat it will remove India and Turkey from the Generalized System of Preferences Program, which allows certain products to enter the US duty-free if the originating country meets specific criteria. This move is consistent with the administration’s objective to address what it considers unfair trade practices by foreign nations. India, the world’s largest beneficiaryof the program, was eliminated because it has “not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India.” USTR explained that they have been working to remove trade barriers with the country, specifically in the dairy and medical device industries. Turkey was found to be sufficiently economically developed, and no longer meets the criteria for GSP.

Nominations & Confirmations

John Fleming was approved to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.
The Senate Agriculture Committee will consider the nomination of Heath Tarbert to be Chairman and a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Tarbert currently serves as assistant Treasury secretary for international markets.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, March 12

  • The House Committee on the Budget will hear testimony from Russell Vought, the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget on the President’s 2020 Budget.
  • The House Education and Labor Committee Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services will examine Federal Child Nutrition Programs.
  • House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies will hear testimony from the USDA Office of the Inspector General.
  • USTR Robert Lighthizer will testify before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss “The Road Ahead for the World Trade Organization.”
  • The Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “The Impact of Broadband Investments in Rural America.”
Wednesday, March 13
  • The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will evaluate “Aligning Federal Surface Transportation Policy to Meet 21st Century Needs.”
  • The Senate Committee on the Budget will hear from Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought on the President’s 2020 Budget.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will discuss “A New Approach for an Era of US-China Competition.”

Thursday, March 14

  • The House Committee on Education and Labor will host a Members Day Hearing.
  • The Senate Finance Committee will hear from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on the President’s 2020 Budget.

MTA In Action

  • Join Us for a Meet & Greet with Congressman Brindisi- Save the date for a food and ag meet and greet with Congressman Anthony Brindisi from New York’s 22nd on March 27. Michael Torrey Associates is co-hosting the event with the Beer Institute. The event will be at 8:30am at the Beer Institute (440 First Street NW, Suite 350). Please RSVP to Marissa Dake.

A Quick Look Back

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