Ag Policy Blog

Senators Prepare to Start 2023 Farm Bill Hearings Looking at Trade

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
Connect with Chris:
A bulk ship preparing to be loaded at the Port of Savannah, Ga. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing to examine U.S. agricultural trade and foreign aid as lawmakers gear up to write a new farm bill. (DTN file photo)

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee will kick off its 2023 farm bill hearings on Wednesday with a look at "trade and horticulture."

In fiscal year 2022, U.S. agriculture had a record $196.4 billion in exports, but also U.S. businesses imported a record $193.9 billion in agricultural products as well. The trade balance was $2.4 billion.

For FY 2023, USDA right now forecasts a slight decline in U.S. agricultural exports to $190 billion while agricultural imports will continue to rise to $199 billion.

China remains the dominate buyer of U.S. agricultural goods, forecast at $34 billion in purchases.

Topics that continue to get attention in trade right now involve the USMCA disputes with Canada over dairy exports and Mexico over the prospect of a ban on at least some biotech corn exports from the U.S.

Also see, "US Ag Trade Officials Reject Mexican Proposals for Biotech Corn,"…

Given the war in Ukraine, the hearing also likely will examine U.S. international food-aid programs as well.

Wednesday's hearing, set for 9 a.m. Central, will include witnesses Alexis Taylor, undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs at USDA, Jenny Lester Moffitt, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA, and Sarah Charles, assistant for the administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member of the committee, have laid out a schedule for upcoming hearings.

-Feb. 9, commodity programs, crop insurance and credit.

-Feb. 16, nutrition programs

-March 1, conservation and forestry programs

The House Agriculture Committee now has most of its membership announced after Ranking Member David Scott, D-Ga., released a list that includes most of the Democratic members expected on the committee. Scott listed 21 members on Friday, of which 12 would be new to the committee. Scott held open three remaining seats to be filled.

Of the 28 Republican members on the committee, 11 will be new. That basically means 23 out of 49 members of the House Agriculture Committee will be new as new House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Ga., starts to move forward on hearings on that side of Congress as well.

Senate Agriculture Committee hearings can be watched at…

Chris Clayton can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN


To comment, please Log In or Join our Community .