Washington Weekly is IDFA’s update curating policy news from the nation’s capital. This week, Canada’s Class 7 milk pricing program remains a top issue in the final North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks; the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee looks to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores to resolve farm bill contentions; and Congress faces deadlines to pass funding bills.
Agriculture Secretary says NAFTA Must Halt Milk Pricing Regime
Canada’s class 7 milk pricing policy remains one of the last issues to close in ongoing trade negotiations between Canada and the United States. The policy artificially lowers milk ingredient prices and promotes the dumping of Canadian proteins onto world markets, manipulating global prices. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week stressed that Canada must eliminate the policy before a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can be secured. Read more here.
Committee Says CBO Scores Could be Key to Passing Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill
The “Big Four” Agriculture leaders said last Wednesday that they will need to review the Congressional Budget Office scores, which tally the budget impacts of proposed legislation, for the farm bill before pressing on with conference negotiations. Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) believes the scores will help them resolve their differences, enhance progress and find a middle ground on the most contentious issues, such as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program. Read more here.
Congress Faces Deadlines on Government Spending
With both chambers in session for only seven more legislative days this month, House and Senate appropriators are working to meet a September 30 deadline to fund the government. Lawmakers said Monday they reached an agreement on a spending package that would fund the departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs, among other agencies. The Senate is currently relying on its bipartisan streak to ensure the other appropriations bills can become law before the midterm election season approaches. Read more here.