Washington Honoring Former President George H.W. Bush

Posted on 12/02/2018 8:19 PM

More info awaited on U.S./China trade truce | Farm bill text coming | Employment report

Release of government reports and congressional action, including releasing text of the new farm bill, will likely be impacted by the closure of the U.S. government on Wednesday to honor the late President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94. Bush’s body will lie in state in the Capitol rotunda starting Monday evening. Following the death of Bush on Friday, Trump and GOP leaders are thinking about another week or two continuing resolution beyond the current Dec. 7 deadline.
     This week's focus includes reaction to Saturday's U.S./China trade policy developments, more information regarding the next farm bill, release Friday of the Employment report, and testimony Wednesday from Fed Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell, unless the hearing is postponed.


Congress will “rush” to complete business that has been around all year, and then some. This includes spending issues, a new farm bill and a potential tax extenders measure.

The new farm bill is finished, but it's unclear when the text will be released. Logistics are still being worked out due to the impact of Washington events for former President George H.W. Bush. Many of the important but tentative details show the measure makes tweaks to existing farm legislation. When Congress will vote on the measure is also unclear. Leaders tentatively wanted votes in both chambers by the end of this week, ahead of a focus on the expiration of a continuing resolution Dec. 7 for several departments and agencies, including USDA, but timelines may have to be adjusted. The votes in the Senate for the farm bill are clearly in place. While enough votes in the House are expected, it will take Democratic votes for that to occur. If a majority of House Republicans will not vote for the measure, GOP leaders may attach it to an eventual minibus spending bill. But some leaders signal there should be “just enough” GOP votes to clear the measure as a solo bill.

Deadline for some federal govt funding expires Dec. 7. Most expect another stopgap spending measure. Congress has cleared and President Trump has signed two spending packages for all of fiscal 2019 that cover about 75% of government operations; stopgap spending for other agencies, including USDA, the IRS, National Park Service and Dept. of Homeland Security, expires Dec. 7.

President Trump is insisting on adequate wall funding. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala). has said that President Trump told him $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was a red line. Trump also told the Washington Post that he’s exploring backup options if Congress rejects his funding request for the wall. Trump said he would back a two-week delay of a government shutdown after the death of former President George H.W. Bush. "If they [lawmakers] come, which they have, to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it,” he told reporters while returning overnight Saturday from the G20 summit in Argentina.

The Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Bernard McNamee to be a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member.

Tax extenders redo? House Republicans could again try to clear a tax corrections/incentives measure that includes a multi-year extension and phaseout of the lapsed $1 biodiesel tax incentive. But when GOP House leaders yanked the bill from a Friday vote, some observers said that meant the votes were lacking for the measure.

On the trade policy front, more information is awaited from both the U.S. and China on the trade tariff truce deal announced Saturday. There could be some additional information surface today when USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue gives two speeches in Chicago and holds a press conference at both events.

Meanwhile, negotiations between U.S. and Canada on steel, aluminum tariffs will continue this week, U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer said.

Key economic report is Friday's Employment report. The economic agenda includes:

Monday:
— Census Bureau releases construction spending figures for October. Economists forecast a 0.4% jump after being flat in September.
— Institute for Supply Management releases its Purchasing Managers’ Index for November. Expectations are for a 57.5 reading, roughly in line with October.
— ISM Mfg. Index

Tuesday:
— Motor vehicle sales

Wednesday:
— ADP releases its National Employment Report for November. Expectations are for a 200,000 gain in private-sector employment after adding 227,000 jobs in October.
— The Institute for Supply Management releases its Non-Manufacturing Index for November. Economists expect a 59 reading, down from October’s 60.3.
— MBA Mortgage Applications
— Productivity and Costs
— PMI Services Index
— Fed Beige Book

Thursday:
— Census Bureau releases its International Trade in Goods and Services report for October. Economists predict that the U.S. trade deficit widened to 55 billion from 54 billion in September.
— Jobless Claims
— Factory Orders
— Fed Balance Sheet

Friday:
— Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its employment report for November. Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to increase by 200,000 after jumping 250,000 in October. The employment rate is expected to remain at a near 50-year low of 3.7%.
— Consumer Sentiment
— Wholesale Trade
— Consumer Credit

Fed speakers will be on tap each day this week. Key will be Fed Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell's testimony Wednesday before Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

Monday:
— Federal Reserve Member of the Board of Governors Lael Brainard gives keynote address at the "Evolving Structure of the U.S. Treasury Market" fourth annual conference in New York, N.Y.
— Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at a community forum hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas.

— Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York holds a discussion with Federal Reserve Board Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles on the outlook for the U.S. economy, inflation and monetary policy.

Tuesday:
— New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams delivers opening remarks and join a panel of New York Fed economists to answer questions after the economists' presentation on forces driving labor market tightness, types of jobs gained and wage trends in the Second District, in New York, N.Y.

Wednesday:
— Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on "The Economic Outlook" before Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

Thursday:
— Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic delivers speech on the U.S. economic outlook at the Georgia Economic Outlook in Atlanta, Georgia.
— New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams to speak in a moderated discussion with Mervyn King at the London School of Economics Foundation event in New York, N.Y.

Friday:
— Federal Reserve Member of the Board of Governors Lael Brainard speaks about current financial stability issues at a luncheon at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington D.C.

Key USDA report this week Other U.S. and international agriculture and energy-related reports and events on tap this week:

Monday, Dec. 3

Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Cotton System
  • Grain Crushings
  • USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue gives two speeches in Chicago and holds two media briefings
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data

Energy reports and events:

  • Singapore Exchange Ltd. starts trade of high-grade iron ore futures
  • PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference, Sydney, through Wednesday. Speakers include PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Oil Search Ltd. MD Peter Botten

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Ag reports and events:

  • Dairy Products
  • Abares Australian crop report
  • China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC) estimates on country’s grains supply and demand, including corn, soybeans
  • Australia weather bureau El Niño outlook

Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • Federal Energy Policy Summit, through Thursday

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Ag reports and events:

  • Note: Previously scheduled USDA reports likely released Dec. 6
  • 24th Annual Asia International Sugar Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, through Thursday

Energy reports and events:

  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories; may be delayed until Thursday
  • EIA crude inventory report
  • S&P Global Platts Global Energy Outlook Briefing

Thursday, Dec. 6

Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data
  • U.S. Bioenergy Statistics ERS
  • 12:00 pm North American Potatoes
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • Buenos Aires Grain Exchange weekly crop report
  • EU Agricultural Outlook conference, Brussels, through Friday. Speakers include European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan
  • United Nations FAO Food Price Index
  • Statistics Canada report on wheat, barley, durum, canola production

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change
  • OPEC, along with some of its allies, will meet in Vienna to discuss possible production cuts for 2019. Oil prices have fallen more than 30% in the past two months on concerns of a slowdown of global economic growth.

Friday, Dec. 7

Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts; report may be delayed until Monday
  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Peanut Prices
  • Livestock and Meat International Trade Data
  • Aquaculture Data
  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update
  • Agroinvestor magazine agriculture conference, Moscow. First Deputy Agriculture Minister Dzhambulat Khatuov, Ros Agro Plc CEO expected to attend
  • Unica bi-weekly report on Brazil Center-South sugar output
  • EU Agricultural Outlook conference, Brussels, final day
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on French crop conditions, progress

Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts
  • OPEC, non-OPEC meet, press conference

Saturday, Dec. 8

  • China’s customs office commodity & energy trade data for November, including crude oil, gas, coal, steel, iron ore, soybeans
  • China’s National Bureau of Statistics may publish country’s grains output in 2018, including corn, wheat

Other reports and events this week include:

Monday, Dec. 3

  • American Seed Trade Association’s CSS 2018 & Seed Expo, through Thursday, in Chicago.
  • USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue speaks in Chicago to the Illinois Farm Bureau and at the DTN Ag Summit.
  • House Republicans have subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey to testify at a closed-door interview with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight panels. Comey on Sunday dropped his challenge to a congressional subpoena issued by Republicans, telling a Washington, D.C., federal judge he’s reached an “acceptable accommodation” to voluntarily testify.
  • FERC nomination. The Senate may vote on the nomination of Bernard McNamee to be a commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • Fair port practices. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) holds a closed meeting to receive a briefing on "Fact Finding Number 28 - Final Report," which explores issues raised in a petition by the Coalition for Fair Port Practices.
  • Climate change. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holds a climate change town hall on "Solving Our Climate Crisis."

Tuesday, Dec. 4

  • California Farm Bureau's 100th annual meeting, through Friday, in San Diego.
  • EU/U.S. trade agreement. Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG chief executive officers are set to attend a White House meeting as European and U.S. officials pursue a new trade agreement.
  • Antitrust law. Dept. of Justice antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and FTC Chairman Joseph Simons testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.
  • China issues. Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee hearing on "Hearing The China Challenge, Part 3: Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law."
  • National petroleum issues. Energy Department Office of Fossil Energy holds a meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC) to provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Energy secretary on matters relating to oil and natural gas, or the oil and natural gas industries. Agenda includes: call to order and introductory remarks; remarks by Energy Secretary Rick Perry; progress report from the NPC Committee on US Oil and Natural Gas Transportation Infrastructure; progress report from the NPC Committee on Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage; progress report on the Supplemental Analysis to the NPC Arctic Potential Report; administrative matters; and a discussion of any other business properly brought before the NPC.
  • Commodity futures market risk. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) holds a meeting of Market Risk Advisory Committee. Agenda includes: the current state of clearinghouse risk management and governance and what lies ahead; the management of non-default losses by clearinghouses in recovery and resolution; recent reports and discussion papers on central clearing by global standard setting bodies; and the oversight of third-party service providers/vendor risk management.
  • Rural housing. The Housing Assistance Council holds its Rural Housing Conference on "Building Rural Communities," December 4-7.
  • Global economy. The National Economists Club (NEC) holds a discussion on "An Automated World: Pictures of a New Global Economy," focusing on manufacturing automation in the United States and emerging markets.
  • Broadband. Microsoft President Brad Smith delivers remarks on the Microsoft Airband Initiative, to address the "broadband connectivity gap in rural communities in the U.S."
  • U.S.-China. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges hold the 11th U.S.-China CEO and Former Senior Officials' Dialogue, focusing on bilateral commercial relations and the global economy.
  • Food retail jobs. The Aspen Institute holds a discussion on "Fresh Pathways: Strategies to Improve Job Quality and Equity in Food Retail."

Wednesday, Dec. 5

  • Federal agencies closed to honor former President George H.W. Bush.
  • Powell to testify before Congress. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify on “The Economic Outlook” before Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. His remarks come after the most recent minutes showed uncertainty about the pace of quarterly rate increases in 2019 and as President Trump has said the Fed is "a much bigger problem than China." Session could be delayed pending events surrounding former President George H.W. Bush.
  • USA Rice Federation’s annual outlook conference, though Friday, in San Diego.
  • Biofuels. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on The 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act, a Discussion Draft. The focus is a draft that Environment Subcommittee chairman Rep. John Shimkus R-Ill.) introduced that would replace the current biofuel mandates with a national octane standard and require new motor vehicles to handle ethanol blends up to 20%, twice the standard level currently.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the search engine giant’s practices; the panel is expected to question Pichai on issues ranging from disinformation campaigns to Google’s plans in China.
  • Farewell address. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) scheduled to deliver his farewell address.
  • Chinese threat. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "China's Non-Traditional Espionage Against the United States: The Threat and Potential Policy Responses."
  • National debt. House Financial Services Committee hearing on "The National Debt: Washington, We Have a Spending Problem."
  • Minimum wage. House Education and the Workforce Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing on "Mandating a $15 Minimum Wage: Consequences for Workers and Small Businesses."
  • Nuclear power. Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee hearing on the future of nuclear power as it pertains to advanced reactors.
  • Aluminum from China. International Trade Commission holds a meeting to vote on common alloy aluminum sheet from China.
  • U.S.-China relations. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivers an address on "U.S.-China Relations in 2019," at the Asia Society in New York City, focusing on "the future of the trade war, the Chinese economy, and the politics of the bilateral relationship."
  • U.S. economy. The Business Roundtable holds a media conference call briefing on the results of the fourth quarter 2018 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.

Thursday, Dec. 6

  • Digital issues. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.
  • AT&T-Time Warner merger. A U.S. court will hear appeal of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, The DOJ wants to reverse a judge’s approval of the AT&T takeover.
  • Trump administration will hold a roundtable with tech executives, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a White House email. Executives expected to participate include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Oracle Co-CEO Safra Catz, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf; Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman will also attend.
  • Time Magazine announces its "Person of the Year".
  • Federal government spending. House Oversight and Government Reform Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on "Examining 'Back Door' Spending by Federal Agencies."
  • Arctic maritime transportation. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee hearing on "Preparing for Maritime Transportation in a Changing Arctic.".
  • U.S.-Japan trade agreement. International Trade Commission holds a hearing on the "U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for Currently Dutiable Imports."
  • Jones Act. The Cato Institute holds a conference on "The Jones Act: Charting a New Course After a Century of Failure," focusing on the transportation of cargo on ships that are US-built, crewed, owned, and flagged.

Friday, Dec. 7

  • Continuing resolution funding some federal departments and agencies, including USDA, expires.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, expires unless Congress acts to reauthorize it.

 

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