Washington Insider

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  • Dominican Republic officials said that testing of 389 samples from farm-raised and backyard pigs was conducted, and ASF was found in a small population of backyard pigs from Sanchez Ramirez and Montecristi provinces.

  • Rarely have lawmakers met a problem they didn't love. But they are finding out that the solutions to addressing issues in the cattle market are not easy, and are many and varied.

  • What Federal Reserve officials say about inflation when the meeting concludes Wednesday afternoon will be notable. They have insisted for months when each policy meeting has wrapped up that they see the higher prices as transitory and that they will not become established enough or...

  • The week opened with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman holding in China with top officials, including with Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng. Interestingly, while that session was still going on, Chinese state media released a statement from Xie contended the U.S. had created an imaginary...

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen penned a letter to congressional leaders late last week, urging them they needed to act on the debt limit before the end of September.

  • The attention of a hearing this week was on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA), with the use of H-2A visas one of the key areas for U.S. ag companies when it comes to bringing in immigrant workers.

  • The Federal Trade Commission this week approved a policy statement on the right-to-repair issue on a unanimous vote. Restricting consumers and businesses from choosing how they repair products can substantially increase the total cost of repairs, generate harmful electronic waste, and...

  • USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that up to $200 million in aid would be made for U.S. timber harvesters and haulers that were negatively impacted by the pandemic via what is called the Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH...

  • So what is a border carbon adjustment? A tax. It will be a tax levied on imports that the lawmakers say is "imported pollution." The lawmakers said it would address the "carbon leakage that undermines urgent climate action."

  • A filing Friday at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) indicated the U.S. believes China has not brought their program in line with that WTO ruling from 2019.

  • Lawmakers in both the House and Senate introduced legislation to give EPA the authority to authorize sales of E15 all year, seeking to address a court decision which invalidated EPA's regulatory action to make such sales possible.

  • FTC's role has been expanded to include many areas, but the biggest one for agriculture deals with the concept of right to repair. The executive order doesn't use that phrase but calls it "unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the...

  • Rural Internet systems clearly were tested during the pandemic with students taking their classes from home and many working from their homes remotely, using Internet connections to make that happen.

  • If some of the topics sound familiar that the executive order called to be addressed, it is because some of them are akin to those the Obama administration had proposed but were withdrawn by the Trump administration.

  • While not currently a viable alternative, Wells Fargo said that indoor farming could be a reliable food source and can be tailored to demographics and tastes, but typically produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than field-grown crops.

  • A casualty of the loss of Trade Promotion Authority with a shift in trade policy also was the loss of Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers who lose their jobs, or whose hours and wages are cut due to competition from imports. Congress has not provided a fix for the loss of TAA.

  • Digital taxes are likely to be a new trade fight front even as the U.S. has signaled they will not be taking actions on trade like their predecessors in the Trump administration. And this is now involving the U.S. Treasury Department and not just the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will update its global food price index this week after the month-ago increase sent global food prices according to their Food Price Index to the highest level since 2011.

  • The issue has taken on attention in ag circles, with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack releasing a statement praising a Federal Trade Commission move. USDA will complement the FTC's efforts with its own initiative on labeling for products such as beef, and other agricultural products regulated by the...