China, U.S. complete another round of trade talks

Legislative Watch: House Agriculture Committee has new faces; USDA awards ATP funds; deadlines extended for USDA sign-up; USDA names senior leaders.

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

February 1, 2019

3 Min Read
The deadline to reach a deal is March 1 or President Trump plans to increase tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods.
Nuthawut Somsuk-GettyImages

On Thursday, the United States and China completed two days of negotiations in Washington, D.C., to work toward an agreement to end the trade war between the two countries. Another round of talks will take place in China in mid-February. President Trump says there would be no final deal until he meets again with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China said yesterday it would be buying another 5 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans. There was no indication when the purchases would take place. 

The deadline to reach a deal is March 1 or President Trump plans to increase tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods.

House Agriculture subcommittee chairs and ranking members named
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) has named the subcommittee chairs for the 116th Congress and Ranking Member Mike Conaway (R-TX) named the subcommittee ranking members. The chairs and ranking members are:

  • David Scott (D-GA) and Austin Scott (R-GA) — Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit

  • Jim Costa (D-CA) and David Rouzer (R-NC) — Livestock and Foreign Agriculture

  • Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) — Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations

  • Filemon Vela (D-TX) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) — General Farm Commodities and Risk Management

  • Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) and Neal Dunn (R-FL) — Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research

  • Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) — Conservation and Forestry

The subcommittees will be more active than in the past and are expected to hold a number of hearings. 

Republicans name House Agriculture Committee members
There will be 21 Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee with three being new (*) to the committee. The members are:

Ranking Member Mike Conaway (TX), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA), Austin Scott (GA), Rick Crawford (AR), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Rodney Davis (IL), Ted Yoho (FL), Rick Allen (GA), Mike Bost (IL), David Rouzer (NC), Ralph Abraham (LA), Trent Kelly (MS), James Comer (KY), Roger Marshall (KS), Don Bacon (NE), Neal Dunn (FL), Dusty Johnson (SD)*, Jim Baird (IN)* and Jim Hagedorn (MN)*.

USDA awards Agricultural Trade Promotion program funds
USDA awarded $200 million to 57 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion program. The funds are to be used to help identify and access new export promotion programs. There were requests of $600 million for the program.

The largest recipients of the funds were the American Soybean Association ($21.9 million), U.S. Meat Export Federation ($17.6 million) and U.S. Grain Council ($13.9 million).

The ATP is a part of the $12 billion trade mitigation program to help offset the effects of trade retaliation. 

Deadlines extended for USDA sign-up
As a result of the government shutdown, USDA has extended the deadline for sign-up of various programs. They include:

  • Market Facilitation Program — Deadline to apply Feb. 14.

  • Livestock Forage Disaster — 2018 application for payment due Feb. 28.

  • Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program — Notice of loss due Feb. 14.

  • Livestock Indemnity Program — Notice of loss due Feb.14.

Contact your local Farm Service Agency office for details on these and other programs.

USDA names senior leaders
While their nominations are pending before the Senate, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has named Mindy Brashears as deputy undersecretary for Food Safety, Scott Hutchins as deputy undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, and Naomi Earp as deputy assistant secretary for Civil Rights.

Last year, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved the nominations of Brashears to be USDA undersecretary for Food Safety, Hutchins as undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics and Earp as assistant secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights. Those nominations were not considered by the full Senate. Thus, President Trump has resubmitted their nominations for consideration by the 116th Congress. 

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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