WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2017 - White House spokesman Sean Spicer is calling a new executive order the most significant action against overregulation since 1981. The order would bar agencies from finalizing any new rules during the rest of the 2017 fiscal year that would impose higher costs on the economy.
In the future, starting with fiscal 2018, the executive order requires the Office of Management Budget to assign regulatory cost caps on each agency with an exemption for new rules that are required by law.
An administration official who talked on background to reporters says the new process will ensure that the costs of new rules are “reduced by other deregulatory policies, and for every new regulatory action there are two deregulatory actions taken out.”
Lawyers are still trying to figure out what it all means for the farm bill and many other issues, but there is an exemption that may cover rules necessary to implement a farm bill. “The language seems to be exceedingly clear that ‘regulations required by law’ will be exempt from the executive order,” says David Graves of the lobbying firm McLeod, Watkinson and Miller. Graves is manager and secretary of the American Association of Crop Insurers.
Another big regulation coming down the pike that could be affected is the GMO disclosure rule required by a law enacted last year.
U.S. dairies ask governors to help stop Canada from blocking U.S. milk. Seventeen U.S. dairy companies say Canada is on the verge of taking an anti-U.S. milk campaign nationwide and they are asking state governors to help put a stop to it.
“We urge you to prepare to take direct action at the state level to underscore to Canada that deliberately and systematically damaging U.S. exports in this way will not be tolerated,” the U.S. companies said in a joint letter to governors in 25 states.
Canada has been operating programs in Ontario that provide incentives for cheese makers there to shun U.S. milk and now those are incentives are expected to go nationwide tomorrow, on Feb. 1, the U.S. companies said.
“That Ontario program has already cost U.S. companies tens of millions of dollars in exports, thereby harming the dairy farmers, dairy plant employees and rural communities that depend on the benefits those foreign sales bring,” the companies said in the letter.
President Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee tonight. The White House will only say that it’s a name from the list of 21 he released during the campaign.
Trump told a group of business representatives that his nominee would “be extremely highly respected, and I think you will be very impressed with this person.”
With Democrats practically guaranteeing to filibuster his choice, the big question is whether Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will have to invoke the “nuclear option” and end the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominations.
Action coming on cabinet picks. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a vote tomorrow on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to run the EPA. The vote is likely is to be party line, but Pruitt could get a handful of Democratic votes on the Senate floor.
Today, two other nominations important to the agriculture and energy sectors will get votes today in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Ryan Zinke for interior secretary and Rick Perry to head the Energy Department.
Trump puts another nail in the TPP coffin. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative sent letters to Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru and Chile to officially notify them that that the U.S. has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said it was another step “in fulfilling the president’s campaign promise to get our country out of unacceptable trade deals that don’t put America’s interests first.”
But most U.S. agriculture groups were staunchly in favor of the trade pact that the American Farm Bureau Federation predicted would net farmers here an additional $4.4 billion annually. The TPP slashed tariffs on U.S. farm goods and lowered non-tariff barriers to open up new markets.
Spicer insisted that the Trump administration will “continue to negotiate new, better trade agreements that will bring jobs back, increase American wages and reduce our trade deficit.”
Dairy leader: Harmonize GMO, nutrition changes. President Trump’s new leaders at USDA and FDA are going to face a multi-billion-dollar labeling issue as soon as they get to their desks.
Food and beverage companies are facing a deadline to make changes to their nutrition facts labels by the middle of next year. But there is interest in the industry to delay that deadline until companies are required to also start disclosing GMO ingredients.
Michael Dykes, the president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, told Agri-Pulse that food industry groups will be reaching out to the White House to seek a delay in the labeling deadline.
“We need to work together, and we need to find a way to make these things happen about the same time,” says Dykes, who was speaking in Orlando at IDFA’s annual dairy forum.
Dykes says that the changes to the nutrition facts panel will cost some companies more than $30 million alone and they don’t want to have to rework their labels twice. Companies also say there are still unanswered questions about the new nutrition labeling requirements.
Agri-Pulse gets a makeover. The Agri-Pulse web site has been completely overhauled! The first thing you’re likely to notice is the new look, but it’s also been designed to make more articles and video readily available as well as improve access on mobile devices.
“With a growing number of our readers accessing our content on mobile devices, we wanted to make sure our top-quality content worked on a wide variety of platforms,” says Editor Sara Wyant. “Plus, we wanted to update our brand image, as well as the look and feel of our web site experience. Our team has worked tirelessly over the last year to make this happen.”
Let us know what you think! Send feedback to Sara@Agri-Pulse.com
He said it. “Right now I can’t really say we’re holding our breath because that’s going to get fixed. We’re taking short little breaths so we don’t pass out.” - Dale Moore, executive director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation, referring to President Trump’s actions last week on trade policy.
Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and announced he would renegotiate the North American Free-Trade Agreement. Moore was speaking at the International Dairy Foods Association’s 2017 Dairy Forum.
(Phil Brasher contributed to this report.)