State of Union Address, Key USDA Reports Major Focus This Week

Posted on 02/03/2019 1:50 PM

Fed chairman | Groups push for end of U.S. metal tariffs | EPA administrator panel vote


The president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, continued meetings on a Homeland Security conference panel, Anthony Wheeler’s nomination as administrator of the EPA, a push by lobbyists to get steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico lifted, and several key USDA reports on Friday are key agenda items for the week ahead.

 

Key policy event this week is Tuesday's State of the Union address by President Donald Trump. Five major themes will be included in the address, according to White House officials:

  • Safe and legal immigration system
  • Protecting U.S. workers via trade-aid
  • Rebuilding America's infrastructure
  • Lowering health care costs
  • Protecting national security

Trump signals decision on the border could come soon. President Trump teased a possible announcement this week on whether he would invoke a national emergency to build a border wall. He reiterated that he doesn’t believe the bipartisan group currently negotiating over border-wall funding will reach a compromise he can accept.

The House meets Tuesday at noon ET and will recess to allow for a security sweep of the Chamber prior to State of the Union address. They will meet again at about 8:35 p.m. ET in a joint session with Senate for the purposes of receiving an address from President Trump.

The Senate returns Monday at 3 p.m. ET and will vote Monday evening on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) measure that would urge the U.S. to continue the fight against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan. They will then hold a procedural vote advancing a Middle East policy bill, S1.

Democrats are hoping to reach a border security agreement with Republicans by Feb. 8, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said. That would give lawmakers a week for both chambers to vote on legislation before funding runs out at midnight Feb. 15.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday will likely advance Anthony Wheeler’s nomination to be administrator of the EPA. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to vote on the Wheeler nomination despite ongoing criticism from Democrats. Wheeler has been serving as acting administrator of EPA since the resignation of Scott Pruitt last year.

Two groups this week will urge the end of metal tariffs on U.S. allies Canada and Mexico.

The Alliance for Competitive Steel and Aluminum Trade plans to meet with lawmakers Feb. 4-5 and press them on the need to remove U.S. metal tariffs on Canada and Mexico, a needed before a congressional vote for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA supporters say the steel and aluminum tariffs are diverting industry attention that should be focused on getting the new agreement with Mexico and Canada passed. The alliance includes industries ranging from automobile manufacturing to pet food makers and farm groups such as the U.S. Grains Council.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is leading its own effort Feb. 6-7 with a message that tariffs are a bad weapon to use in trade skirmishes because consumers and industries are hurt. Major associations participating include the National Retail Federation, Toy Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, National Fisheries Institute, American Chemistry Council, and the American Apparel and Footwear Association. Businesses participating include IBM, Hasbro Wicked Cool Toys, Walmart, and Hewlett Packard.

Trump remains upbeat on getting trade deal with China. In an interview with CBS' Face the Nation that aired Sunday, President Trump insisted that he is making progress in negotiations with China. "It looks like we're doing very well with making a deal with China. I can tell you this, no two leaders of this country and China have ever been closer than I am with President Xi. We have a good chance to make a deal," Trump said. Link to transcript of Trump interview.

Economic updates for the week include:

Monday:
— Factory Orders
— Motor Vehicle Sales

Tuesday:
— PMI Services Index
— ISM Non-Mfg Index

Wednesday:
— MBA Mortgage Applications
— International Trade (for November)
— Productivity and Costs

Thursday:
— Jobless Claims
— Consumer Credit
— Fed Balance Sheet

Fed speakers on tap:

Monday:
— Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks on economic outlook and monetary policy at the 50 Club of Cleveland Annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wednesday:
— Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell hosts a town hall meeting with educators from across the country joining him in the Board Room of the Federal Reserve Board's main building in Washington D.C. to participate via webcasts from Federal Reserve Bank offices throughout the country, with Q&A from both the in-person audience and participants at the Federal Reserve Bank offices. The public can view the event live streamed at www.federalreserve.gov

Thursday:
— St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard to deliver a presentation on the US economy and monetary policy at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

USDA on Friday will release much-awaited reports delayed from Jan. 11 and an updated WASDE (supply/demand) report. U.S. and international agriculture and energy-related reports and events on tap:

Monday, Feb. 4

Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Cotton System
  • Fats & Oils
  • Grain Crushings
  • Dairy Products
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Ag reports and events:

  • U.S. Bioenergy Statistics
  • Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data
  • Egg Products
  • CFTC commitments of traders weekly report on positions for various U.S. futures and options, data will be from missed reports
  • Purdue agriculture index
  • Globoil conference in India’s Gurugram, southwest of New Delhi, through Feb. 6. Speakers include key speakers including veteran analyst Dorab Mistry and executives from Cargill Inc., Olam International Ltd. and Bunge Ltd.
  • Japan farm ministry wheat-purchasing plan at regular import tender
  • Australia weather bureau’s El Niño outlook
  • Canada December grain stocks

Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. Census oil export trade data

Wednesday, Feb. 6

Ag reports and events:

  • Field Crops Final Estimates, 2013-2018
  • Rice Stocks Final Estimates 2013-2018
  • Grain Stocks Final estimates 2013-2018
  • Highlights From February 2019 Farm Income Forecast
  • Livestock and Meat International Trade Data
  • Aquaculture Data
  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update

Energy reports and events:

  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories

Thursday, Feb. 7

Ag reports and events:

  • Weekly Export Sales (delayed report)
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports
  • FAO monthly food-price index
  • Japan farm ministry result of milling wheat tender
  • IKAR agriculture conference in Moscow, speakers include agriculture officials, state grain trader
  • Unica cane crush Brazil

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change

Friday, Feb. 8

Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts — delayed from Dec. 27
  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Crop Production
  • Crop Production 2018 Summary (delayed from Jan. 11)
  • Grain Stocks (delayed from Jan. 11)
  • Winter wheat & Canola Seedings (delayed from Jan. 11)
  • Rice Stocks (delayed from Jan. 11)
  • WASDE
  • Cotton: World Markets and Trade
  • Grains: World Markets and Trade
  • Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade
  • World Agricultural Production

Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts

Other reports and events this week include:

Monday, Feb. 4

  • Markets across Asia close for part or all of the week for Lunar New Year: the year of the Pig... including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.
  • WTO: World Trade Institute conference on WTO reform, in Geneva.
  • Metal tariffs. Alliance for Competitive Steel and Aluminum Trade to visit lawmakers Feb. 4-5 and press them on the need to remove metal tariffs slapped on Canada and Mexico.
  • Heritage Foundation forum, “The Legality of Nationwide Injunctions.”

Tuesday, Feb. 5

  • President Trump delivers State of Union address, delayed a week because of the partial gov't shutdown.
  • China: CSIS program on China’s digital Silk Road.
  • Wetland regulation. Comment period ends for USDA’s proposed revisions to wetland determination rules.
  • Veterans' health care. Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing to examine implementation of update on the Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ electronic health record upgrade.
  • Defense spending. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, testifies at Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization request and future years defense program.
  • Outlook for energy and minerals markets. Senate Energy and Natural Resources panel hearing on the outlook for energy and minerals markets.
  • U.S. sanctions on Russia. House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and other senior House Democrats have asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for all documents and records related to the Trump administration decision to ease sanctions on businesses tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. They requested material by no later than Feb. 5.
  • Health care costs. Senate Heath and Education Committee hearing on how primary care affects health costs and results.
  • Sec. of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a breakfast in Kansas, increasing speculation he is considering a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
  • Infrastructure. U.S. Chamber of Commerce annual infrastructure summit,
  • Implementing 2018 Farm Bill. Farm Foundation forum.
  • Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research forum, “Foster Our Future.”

Wednesday, Feb. 6

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell hosts town hall meeting with educators, his first public comments following the January FOMC meeting. In Washington.
  • Worldwide threats. National Intelligence Director Dan Coats testifies at Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats.
  • Climate change. House Natural Resources Committee hearing on climate change, its first on the topic in six years.
  • Climate change. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change hearing on environmental, economic effects of climate change.
  • Retirement savings. Senate Aging Committee hearing on financial security in retirement and best practices to encourage savings.
  • 5G. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing, “Winning the Race to 5G and the Next Era of Technology Innovation in the United States.”
  • Labor Dept. nominees. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee meeting to consider Labor Department nominees.

Thursday, Feb. 7

  • Nominees. Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on several judicial nominees, including two for the U.S. Court of International Trade, Timothy M. Reif, senior adviser to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and M. Miller Baker, partner and co-chair of the appellate practice group at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Once approved by the committee as is expected, the nominations move to the full Senate for approval.
  • U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on “What Keeps Xi Up at Night: Beijing’s Internal and External Challenges.”
  • Intellectual property. U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center releases the 2019 U.S. Chamber International IP Index.
  • Presidential and vice-presidential tax returns. House Ways and Means oversight panel hearing on legislative proposals and tax law related to presidential and vice-presidential tax returns.
  • Immigration policy. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on the Trump administration’s family separation immigration policies, reunification efforts and long-term effects of separations.
  • Transportation. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing to examine state of highways, bridges, transit systems, ports and airports, and backlog of maintenance and repair needs.
  • Nomination of William Barr as U.S. attorney general. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to consider the nomination of William Barr as U.S. attorney general; panel also will consider judicial nominations. Chairman of the panel, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), has said he’ll ask Barr to clarify whether he would release damaging information Mueller may find about the president.
  • World Bank president. Nominations can be submitted from Feb. 7 until March 14 for a new World Bank president to replace Jim Yong Kim; board aims to select a president before the World Bank-IMF spring meetings in April.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. National Association of Realtors to host inaugural Policy Forum, focusing on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reforms.

Friday, Feb. 8

  • Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is slated to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 8; Democrats want answers on his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
  • President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen will meet with the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors on Friday — the first of a series of expected hearings for Cohen in the weeks before he is scheduled to report to prison.
  • National Cotton Council annual meeting, through Sunday, San Antonio, Texas.

 

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