Trade Policy, Federal Reserve, Farm Bill Key Topics This Week

Posted on 07/14/2018 5:02 PM

President Trump and Russian President Putin to hold first summit in Helsinki


Trade policy, two appearances from the Federal Reserve Chairman and a possible House vote on the Senate farm bill are key topics for the week ahead.
     President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold their first summit Monday in Helsinki.

 

House members will take up their second “minibus” appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2019; the measure (HR 6147) couples $35.3 billion in appropriations for Interior-Environment with $23.4 billion for Financial Services.

     The House this week is expected to vote down the Senate version of the new farm bill and instruct the appointment of conferees to work out differences with the Senate. House Agriculture Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) last week said he and Chairman Mike Conaway spoke last Wednesday for the first time in eight weeks, discussing going to conference with the Senate on the farm bill. The two are divided over proposed expanded food stamp work requirements in the House farm bill.

     With trade policy a hot topic in Washington and for markets, the biggest unknown is whether and when U.S. and Chinese officials may meet again to talk about lingering trade conflicts.

     Meanwhile, a House Ways and Means subcommittee Wednesday holds a hearing on the effects of tariffs on agriculture/rural communities.

     Regarding immigration reform, House GOP lawmakers could unveil a bill that would replace the existing H-2A visa program for farmworkers. The measure is expected to include provisions addressing the H-2B visa program for non-farm workers. While the American Farm Bureau Federation is supporting the bill, the California Farm Bureau and the Western Growers Association previously declined to support the House Judiciary Committee's H-2C approach, which would require all workers in the country illegally to apply for H-2C visas and return to their home countries. Spouses and children would be ineligible for the visas unless also working on farms. Western Growers noted that few farmworkers “would leave spouses and children behind in the U.S., many subject to deportation, on the questionable assumption that the federal government will efficiently readmit them as temporary seasonal guest workers.”

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set up a confirmation vote on the nomination of Federal Reserve Gov. Randal Quarles for a full term. The Senate in October confirmed Quarles, who is vice chairman for supervision, as a Federal Reserve governor to complete Daniel Tarullo’s term after he stepped down.

President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin will meet Monday in Helsinki. Among the topics up for discussion: civil war in Syria, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and North Korea’s nuclear weapons. The federal indictment on Friday of 12 Russian intelligence agents accused of hacking Democratic and state election computers in 2016 moves the topic of Russian meddling in the presidential election higher on the Trump-Putin agenda. Trump on Friday said he would address the issue. The indictment could give Trump ammo to challenge Putin’s repeated denials of Russian attempts to influence the election.

Economic updates for the week include:

     Monday: Retail Sales | Empire State Mfg. Survey | Business Inventories
     Tuesday: Industrial Production | Housing Market Index | Treasury International Capital
     Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications | Housing Starts | Beige Book
     Thursday: Jobless Claims | Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey | Leading Indicators

     Federal Reserve Chair Jerome “Jay” Powell on Tuesday delivers the semiannual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee and on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee.

With major reports from USDA released earlier this month, key will be weather and crop developments. U.S. and international agriculture and energy-related reports and events on tap this week:

Monday, July 16

     Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Cotton & Wool Outlook
  • Oil Crops Outlook
  • Feed Outlook
  • Rice Outlook
  • Wheat Outlook
  • Turkey Hatchery
  • Cargo surveyors AmSpec and Intertek release their respective data on Malaysia’s July 1-15 palm oil export
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA Monthly Drilling Productivity Report

Tuesday, July 17

     Ag reports and events:

  • Fruit and Tree Nut Data
  • Vegetables and Pulses Data
  • Feed Grains Yearbook tables

     Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, Murray Energy Corp. CEO Bob Murray, FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre to speak at Politico’s ProSummit, Washington

Wednesday, July 18

     Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Livestock, Dairy, & Poultry Outlook
  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook

     Energy reports and events:

  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories

Thursday, July 19

     Ag reports and events:

  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Livestock Slaughter
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • Buenos Aires Grain Exchange weekly crop report

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change
  • API’s Monthly Statistical Report

Friday, July 20

     Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts.
  • Peanut Prices
  • Catfish Production
  • Cattle
  • Cattle on Feed
  • Milk Production
  • Mink
  • FranceAgriMer weekly updates on French crop conditions

     Energy reports and events:

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

Other reports and events this week include:

Monday, July 16

  • President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold first bilateral summit in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Trade policy. Senate Homeland Security panel field hearing on effect of tariffs on Wisconsin businesses.
  • International Monetary Fund releases its World Economic Outlook.
  • House Rules Committee meets to consider the rule for the fiscal 2019 Interior-Environment spending bill.

Tuesday, July 17

  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome “Jay” Powell testifies before Senate Banking panel to give the central bank’s semiannual monetary policy report to Congress.
  • Endangered Species Act. Senate Environment and Public Works panel hearing on Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.
  • Health care. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on reducing health-care costs.
  • Summer food service program. House Education and the Workforce — Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee hearing.
  • Gene editing. Farm Foundation forum, “Gene Editing: Opportunities and Challenges,” National Press Club.
  • Immigration. Bipartisan Policy Center forum, “What Do Voters Want Done on Immigration? Is There a Bipartisan Path Forward?”
  • Rural broadband. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing.

Wednesday, July 18

  • Federal Reserve Beige Book is released.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome “Jay” Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee to give the central bank’s semiannual monetary policy report to Congress.
  • Effects of tariffs and agriculture/rural communities. House Ways and Means — Subcommittee on Trade Subcommittee hearing.
  • Cryptocurrencies. House Agriculture Committee hearing.
  • Trade at U.S. ports of entry. Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness hearing, with Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.
  • U.S. competition. House Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul discusses U.S. competition with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran at an American Enterprise Institute event.
  • Government reorganization. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reviews the Trump administration's government reorganization proposal.
  • NEC director Larry Kudlow, former White House strategist Steve Bannon and Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein are among speakers at the Delivering Alpha Conference in New York.
  • Energy storage. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy Subcommittee hearing on "Powering America: The Role of Energy Storage in the Nation's Electricity System.
  • Federal Trade Commission oversight. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission 2018."
  • National Corn Growers Association’s annual Corn Congress, through Thursday

Thursday, July 19

  • Nomination hearing. Senate Banking Committee hearing on President Trump's pick to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Kathy Kraninger.
  • Auto tariffs. U.S. Commerce Department begins two days of public hearings in its investigation to determine whether auto imports pose a national security threat. The Trump administration is reportedly considering 25% tariffs on that basis.
  • China's threat to U.S. research/innovation leadership. House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on "China's Threat to American Government and Private Sector Research and Innovation Leadership."

Saturday, July 21

  • G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Buenos Aires. Trade war talks are likely to be the main topic of discussion.

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