Phase One progress steps announced

Legislative Watch: U.S.-China ag provisions announced; Trump's trade goals released; ag inspectors bill signed; coronavirus aid coming; Small new ag committee member; Democratic presidential race down to two; Larew to lead NFU.

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

March 6, 2020

4 Min Read
U.S. China trade puzzle pieces fitting together
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The U.S. Trade Representative and the USDA announced that China has taken steps to implement various agricultural provisions of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement.

In a joint USTR-USDA press release the actions include:

  • Signing a protocol that allows the importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes (U.S. Chipping Potatoes Protocol Announcement);

  • Lifting the ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including pet food containing poultry products (Poultry and Poultry Products Announcement);

  • Lifting restrictions on imports of U.S. pet food containing ruminant material (Pet Food with Ruminant Ingredients Announcement);

  • Updating lists of facilities approved for exporting animal protein, pet food, dairy, infant formula and tallow for industry use to China;

  • Updating the lists of products that can be exported to China as feed additives; and

  • Updating an approved list of U.S. seafood species that can be exported to China.

Trump 2020 trade agenda released
USTR released President Trump's "2020 Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report to Congress" which outlines the administration's trade goals for 2020. The goals include:

  • New trade agreements: The administration would like to complete trade agreements with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Kenya.

  • Enforcement: Trade commitments made by our trading partners under U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the China Phase One Agreement and World Trade Organization agreements are to be enforced.

  • WTO: Limit the WTO to its original purpose for nations to "negotiate trade agreements, monitor compliance with agreements and facilitate the member-driven resolution of international trade disputes."

The report also outlines trade accomplishments in 2019 including trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, China and Japan.

Trump signs bill for additional ag inspectors
President Trump signed into law an agriculture border inspection bill that increases the number of agricultural inspectors at U.S. ports of entry that will help keep out animal diseases such as African swine fever.

The legislation by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) authorizes Customs and Border Protection to hire 240 new agricultural specialists per year and 200 agricultural technicians annually until the existing shortage is filled. Also, 20 new canine teams are to be enrolled each year which will help detect illicit fruits, vegetables and animal products.

Coronavirus aid package signed
President Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental spending bill to provide federal assistance to government health officials, including purchases of vaccines and medications and for research and development.

New House ag committee member
Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) has been appointed to the House Agriculture Committee. She represents one of the largest dairy districts in the United States. Small is taking the place of Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) who was elected as a Democrat but switched to a Republican after the impeachment vote.

Super Tuesday results in two-man race
The Democratic presidential nomination is now down to a two-man race between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders after the Super Tuesday elections. Biden won 10 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and Sanders won four states (California, Colorado, Utah and Vermont). This was a huge victory for Biden whose campaign had struggled in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Biden benefited from the endorsements of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg after they dropped their bids for the nomination after last Saturday's South Carolina primary. After spending millions of dollars, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the race after the disappointing Super Tuesday results and has endorsed Biden. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ended her bid on Thursday.

The fight between Biden and Sanders will continue for a number of weeks. The next round of primaries is next Tuesday with the states of Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington.

Larew to head National Farmers Union
Rob Larew has been elected president of the National Farmers Union. He succeeds Roger Johnson who served as NFU president since 2009. Larew had been serving as NFU's vice president of Public Policy and Communications. Prior to joining the NFU, Larew was the staff director for the House Agriculture Committee.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

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