Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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This is Food and Ag in 2.
USDA Reorganization Proposal
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently proposed a USDA reorganization that would create a new undersecretary for trade, and abolish the undersecretary for rural development. His proposal also would put one undersecretary in charge of farm subsidies and land stewardship, instead of two. American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, among others, applaud Perdue’s plan, saying it will benefit rural farmers.
US Trade Representative
Robert Lighthizer has been confirmed as the next U.S. Trade Representative and is expected to follow through on President Trump’s promises of looking to restructure the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals. The confirmation received support from the American Soybean Association, which contends it’s the right step in developing trade policies that better promote U.S. food production. NCBA concurs, encouraging Lighthizer to expand into new international markets.
Organic Livestock Rule
Writing for Bloomberg’s Bureau of National Affairs, agriculture policy journalist Casey Wooten reports the USDA has further delayed implementing a rule from the Obama administration that would set higher living standards for organic poultry and livestock. Wooten notes some critics argue the rule would be unnecessarily expensive and drive up costs for consumers. He reports USDA says the delay from May to November will allow for more public comments to help decide if it should be implemented.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are asking for input from state governors concerning the rewrite of the definition of protected waters of the United States. Administrator Scott Pruitt says EPA is working to make the implementation of WOTUS and the Clean Water Act transparent and hopes to work with state governments to determine the best way to protect their waters.
I’m Maya Menon with v-Fluence, a global provider of food and ag intelligence.