Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 5.6

Monday, May 6th, 2019


May 6, 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

  • Senate Negotiating Disaster Aid Package- Leaders from the Senate Appropriations Committee have indicated that they are close to a deal on a disaster aid bill that would provide relief to areas of the country affected by hurricanes, wildfires, extreme flooding and other natural disasters in the past year. Committee Chairman Shelby (R-AL) offered a new proposal that would increase spending for Puerto Rico– a major sticking point in prior negotiations– and allow quicker access to funding. The bill’s price tag would increase to $17 billion from $13.5 billion. The House, who passed their own version of the bill in January, added language to add an additional $3 billion to help with recovery efforts for flooding in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South. If the Senate passes their proposal, the two chambers will need to work out differences between their bills.
  • Trump Threatens Additional China Tariffs- Over the weekend, President Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on China, saying that the developing trade deal has been moving “too slowly”. Negotiators are slated to resume trade talks in Washington on Wednesday. Trump said that he will raise the existing tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from 10% to 25% and to impose 25% tariffs on $325 billion worth of new goods. In February, the President delayed a planned increase in tariffs, citing progress in the negotiations. It is expected that if the US moves forward with implementing the tariffs, that Beijing will apply retaliatory levees. The Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Coalition responded in a statement, explaining, “this sudden increase with little notice will only punish U.S farmers, businesses and consumers”.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • William Cooper was confirmed as General Counsel of the Department of Energy.
  • R. Clarke Cooper was confirmed to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, May 8
  • The House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will discuss the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.
  • The EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will hold a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). The meeting will continue through May 9.
Thursday, May 9
  • The House Agriculture General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Reviewing the State of the Farm Economy”.
  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will hold a meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. The meeting will continue through May 10.

MTA in Action
This week, Michael Torrey Associates welcomes Andrew Jerome to the team as Director. Andrew will provide guidance and representation to clients on an ever-expanding array of agriculture and food policy issues. Most recently, he served as the Communications Director at the National Farmers Union, advocating on behalf of farmers and rural communities in Washington, D.C. Read more about Andrew here.

A Quick Look Back