Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 4.29
WEEKLY FOOD & AGRICULTURE UPDATE
April 29, 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
- Countryside Awaiting Disaster Assistance- Congress returns from a two week recess to an unfinished disaster aid bill that would provide financial relief to regions around the USdamaged by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding from the past year. The House passed its own version of the bill in January but the Senate bill was put on hold over disagreements concerning the amount of funding for Puerto Rico. If the Senate passes a solution, the two chambers will likely need to negotiate differences in their respective bills. Over the recess, four members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a field hearing in Glenwood, Iowa to tour the recent flooding. Senators Grassley (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Moran (R-KS) and Gillibrand (D-NY) heard from several area farmers, an attorney who represents levee districts, and members of the Army Corps of Engineers. Senators emphasized the need for disaster assistance, while stressing the need to prevent flooding in the future.
- Administration Makes Changes to US-Cuba Relations- Last week, the Trump administration announced several new economic measures affecting Cuba. Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton shared that the administration will end the suspension of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which will allow Americans to file lawsuits against US and international companies doing business in Cuba to seek compensation for property confiscated by the Cuban government during their revolution. This will go into effect May 2. The administration has also announced plans to cap remittances sent to the island, prohibit “u-turn” financial transactions through US banks, restrict “non-family travel” and adds new entities to the State Department’s restricted list.
Nominations & Confirmations
The Week Ahead
- The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture will hold a hearing entitled, “Reviewing the State of the Dairy Economy.”
- The Farm Foundation will host a conference entitled, “Agricultural Trade in a Time of Uncertainty.”
- The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit will receive testimony on “The State of the CFTC” from Chairman Giancarlo.
A Quick Look Back
- Farm-Equipment Sales Plunge Most Since 2016 in Trade-War Fallout
- USDA Announces Enhancements to Livestock and Dairy Insurance Programs
- Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Case with Major Implications for Food Retailers and Press Freedom
- ACLU of Iowa Says State’s New Ag-Gag Law Violates Free Speech Protections
- Hemp Seed Imports Authorized for 2019 Growing Season
- Pork and Soybean Markets Adjust to African Swine Fever