House Republican leaders pick up the pieces this week after another embarrassing defeat on a farm bill, which was weighed down yet again by controversial food stamp reforms before sinking because of an intra-party feud over immigration policy.
China has agreed to increase its imports of American agriculture and energy products and to address U.S. concerns about protection of intellectual property, according to a joint U.S.-China statement released by the White House.
China’s decision to scrap its anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases and a 179 percent tariff on U.S. sorghum has energized U.S. industry officials who hope it’s a sign that U.S.-Chinese trade relations are improving.
By a surprisingly large bipartisan margin, the House easily defeated the latest attempt by food and candy manufacturers to reduce sugar prices, rejecting an amendment that would have ended domestic marketing controls for the commodity.
Lawmakers from both ends of the ideological spectrum want to use the farm bill to impose significant new restrictions on the research and promotion programs for beef, milk and dozens of other commodities.
Republican leaders desperate to push through a partisan farm bill through the House that overhauls the food stamp program are heading off attempts to cut crop insurance or tighten commodity payment limits.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway is struggling to cobble together the votes he needs from GOP colleagues to pass his farm bill while fending off amendments that would roll back the sugar program or cut crop insurance.
Until recently, the top negotiators for the U.S., Mexico and Canada were working “intensely” to finish up a deal for a new North American Free Trade Agreement, but activity has dwindled to a near standstill and pessimism has replaced those high hopes for a speedy conclusion.