NAWG Weekly Updates, June 21, 2018
House Passes 2018 Farm Bill Out of Chamber
Today, in a vote of 213-211, the House passed its version of the Farm Bill. NAWG issued a response which can be found here.
In regards to the Senate, the Chamber is expected to wrap up debate on the minibus this week and then leadership could potentially call up the Farm Bill for debate on the floor next week. The NAWG staff has been contacting Senate offices this week to see what sort of amendments may be offered, and we’ve had a focus on urging opposition to amendments we expect will be offered to cut crop insurance. Once we start to know what specific amendments are going to be offered, we will reach out to the states to work on next steps.
NAWG Participates in Philippine Flour Millers Hill Day
On June 20, 2018, NAWG VP of Policy and Communications Josh Tonsager joined U.S. Wheat and its Philippine flour milling trade delegation for several meetings on Capitol Hill. Funding for the visit comes from USDA’s Foreign Market Development export programs with support from wheat commissions in those states. This delegation is comprised of experienced leaders that want to capitalize on what they learn here in part to fight for extended protection from low priced Turkish flour exports to their country. This activity will also provide an opportunity for the delegation to explain to various audiences why they prefer the U.S. grain production and marketing system, and why the Philippines end product industry demands flour made from U.S. wheat.
NAWG Attends U.S. Wheat’s 2018 Summer Meeting
U.S. Wheat 2018 Summer meeting will take place this weekend from June 22nd-25th in Seattle, Washington. NAWG Officers and CEO Chandler Goule will be attending and will meet on Sunday during the conference to touch base on NAWG’s current policy priorities and other topics. For more information, visit USW’s site here.
US Formalizes Tariffs on Chinese Goods
On Friday, the Administration announced that it would impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods to go into effect on July 6. In response, China announced that it would retaliate and levy duties on $34 billion of U.S. products, covering 545 categories ranging from soybeans, pork, chicken, seafood to sport-utility vehicles and electric vehicles.
On Monday, in response to China’s retaliation, the Administration ordered an additional 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods. China, in turn, denounced “this practice of extreme pressure and blackmail,” and asserted that “If the U.S. side becomes irrational and issues a list, China will have to adopt comprehensive measures combining quantity and quality to make a strong countermeasure.” NAWG and USW issued a joint release in response to this looming trade war.
NAWG to Participate in Farmers for Free Trade Event in Michigan
In response to the Trump Administration’s tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports, Farmers for Free Trade (FFT) is hosting a series of media event this Summer. The next event is Tuesday, June 26 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. NAWG Treasurer Dave Milligan will be attending and participating in this event.
In another note, FFT has released an advertisement that will run on all major cable news channels urging the White House to reconsider their actions and promote opportunities for free trade. The advertisement shows a testimony from Mark Boyer, a Pennsylvania Apple grower, who fears that trade retaliation will impact his business along with other producers across the country.
Perdue Comments on NAFTA Deal with Mexico First
Following his meeting with the Canadian Agriculture Minister last week, USDA Secretary Perdue shared with reporters that he expects the Trump administration to reach a deal with Mexico before finalizing trade negotiations with Canada. Though trilateral trade conversations continue, Perdue says that the trade challenges between the U.S. and Mexico are uniquely different than then those between the U.S. and Canada. Although Perdue’s conversations with Canada focused on NAFTA, the discussion also included wheat grading. Perdue pressed that the USDA was continuing to monitor the market impact that trade negotiations, both with NAFTA and China, will have on the agriculture industry. Inside Trade covered the story.
WOTUS Rule Sent to OMB
The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers sent a new Waters of the US rule to the Office of Management and Budget this week. The rule provides a new definition for WOTUS. The Trump Administration expects the rule to be published in the Federal Register by August of 2018. Despite push back from environmental groups, EPA and Army Corps of Engineers have delayed the date for WOTUS to take effect until February of 2020.
Reuters: EPA Proposes Reallocating Waived Biofuels Volumes to Other Refiners
As reported in Reuters, the EPA is expected to release an announcement regarding the reallocation of obligations for biofuel blending as early as Friday. These obligations are currently applicable to the exemption program for small refineries but are expected to be reallocated to other refineries. The proposal is an opportunity for biofuel groups who have strongly disagreed with the EPA’s expansion of the waiver program. Under the Trump administration, the EPA has expanded the waiver program by roughly three times that of the Obama administration. According to refiners, the move will drive up regulatory expenses. The American Petroleum Institute released a statement strongly opposing the proposal. The announcement from the EPA is expected to come on June 22.
National Wheat Yield Contest: Spring Wheat Category
As the 2018 National Wheat Yield Contest spring wheat deadline quickly approaches on August 1, the National Wheat Foundation is encouraging wheat growers to aim higher and register their crop in this year’s contest. Think your spring wheat harvest might be a bin buster? Don’t forget you can submit more than one entry to the contest for the chance to become a nationally recognized grower!
Now that your wheat has emerged and is off and running, consider, register before August 1 to be in it to win it! Visit wheatfoundation.org for more details and to register today.