President-elect Donald Trump released his plans for the first 100 days of his administration asking his transition team for a list of executive actions he can consider on his first day as president.
At the top of the list is implementing his campaign promise to withdraw from negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement calling it a “potential disaster for our country.” Trump says he plans to negotiate fair bilateral trade deals “that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”
He also mentioned canceling environmental restrictions of the Obama administration, investigating worker visas and imposing broad new bans on lobbying by government employees. For every new regulation, he wants to eliminate two existing regulations.
The items he mentions can be done through executive action without the approval of Congress. His other major items of eliminating Obamacare and building a wall along the Mexican border will take approval of Congress.
COOL not coming back
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has indicated that a Trump administration will not consider new country-of-origin labeling rules for meat. This is after it became public that Trump’s plan for his first 100 days indicated the possibility of including COOL in a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump’s agricultural advisory committee let the Trump transition know this was a non-starter with major agricultural groups and other industries who would have been hit with over $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico as a result of the World Trade Organization’s ruling if Congress had not ended COOL last year.
Increase of corn ethanol in final 2017 RFS requirements
The Environmental Protection Agency in its announcement of the final 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard’s requirements for 2017 increased corn ethanol volume mandate to 15 billion gallons which is the level set by Congress in 2007.
The total mandate for biofuels for 2017 is 19.28 billion gallons. This includes 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel to be mixed into the U.S. fuel supply which is 200 million gallons over the EPA’s May proposal. The EPA also announced 311 million gallons for cellulosic advanced biofuels and 4.28 billion gallons of advanced biofuels. EPA says, “These final standards will boost production, providing for ambitious yet achievable growth of biofuels in the transportation sector.”
Leftwich leading Trump’s USDA transition team
Joel Leftwich, Republican staff director of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has been named the new head of the Trump USDA transition team.
Previously, Leftwich served as deputy staff director for the Senate Agriculture committee and was legislative assistant for Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) where he worked on agriculture, immigration, and transportation issues. Mike Torrey had been the head of the USDA transition team, but resigned because of the new lobbying restrictions for transition members.
Simmons named House ag committee Democratic staff director
Ann Simmons has been named Democratic staff director for the House Agriculture Committee by Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), ranking member of the committee.
Simmons is well respected by the agricultural community and Congressional members and staff. She currently serves as senior policy adviser for the committee. Peterson also announced that Troy Phillips will serve as the deputy staff director. Phillips has been agricultural adviser to Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) and previously worked for former Congressman Harold Volkmer (D-MO).