By Casey Wooten
June 10 — Agriculture trade is getting the spotlight on Capitol Hill, with two hearings focused on U.S. crop and livestock exports and commodity trading.
The House's tax-writing Ways and Means Committee will step in to the agriculture policy world June 14 when its trade subcommittee holds a hearing on eliminating barriers to U.S. agriculture exports.
The hearing comes as Congress still needs to approve the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The deal could have a major impact on U.S. crop and livestock exports by reducing tariffs, though some groups such as the National Farmers Union say it would increase foreign competition as well.
The administration continues to push lawmakers to approve the deal. In April, U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Darci Vetter said that the TPP wouldn't hurt small farmers because they would gain access to new markets (See previous story, 04/26/16).
The House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit will meet June 14 to review the impact of clearing and trade execution requirements put forth by the Group of 20. Those requirements tighten rules for member nations' commodity trading markets.
It's June, and for Capitol Hill workers that means one thing: free ice cream.
The International Dairy Foods Association is hosting its 34th annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party June 15, where staffers, lawmakers and industry representatives gather for an afternoon of free ice cream, frozen yogurt, root beer floats and other dairy treats.
But it's not all scoops of vanilla and chocolate. The event caps off two days of congressional visits by association members, who will no doubt have a lot to say about product labeling this year.
In May, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a bill that would create a uniform safety and quality date labeling system. The measure would in part require manufacturers and retailers to use the standard language of “best if used by” for expiration dates instead of region-by-region standards.
And as usual, rules for labeling genetically modified organisms is at the forefront as well. For dairy farmers, the issue is whether to label milk, cheese or other dairy products as made with GMOs if the cows consume genetically modified feed. The IDFA opposes state-by-state GMO labeling rules, saying that it would make it difficult for companies to label regional or national products.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are still trying to reach a compromise on a nationwide labeling standard for foods made with genetically modified organisms. At issue is still whether to have a mandatory or voluntary labeling system, as well as what the label will look like and whether livestock that consumes genetically modified feed should also get the GM label.
Roberts told reporters June 9 that talks were “productive” and work will continue at the staff level.
The clock is ticking, however. A Vermont law creating a mandatory labeling standard is set to go into effect July 1, and even if senators reach a deal they must still move it through the House, where Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) remains a staunch supporter of a voluntary-only labeling bill (See previous story, 06/08/16).
To contact the reporter on this story: Casey Wooten in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)