Posted on 05/19/2019 11:03 AM

Trump to meet with lawmakers on infrastructure funding | USMCA enforcement hearing

With several trade policy issues having been decided (metal tariffs on Canada, Mexico, link for details) or delayed (auto tariffs), the focus turns to more domestic matters, including Round Two of the Trump tariff aid package, disaster aid legislation in Congress and another White House meeting with lawmakers on infrastructure funding.


Details regarding the second installment of a Trump tariff aid package for the ag sector should come this week, according to sources close to the topic.

The plan is not expected to be based on 2019 plantings/production because officials do not want to skew plantings, but contacts advise authority for the program must have some element of injury from the current situation. That could come in various ways, including indirect impacts.

Payment rate rumors are rampant, but contacts say they are still being worked out. One rumor not yet confirmed as what the announced rates will be: $2.00 soybeans and 10 cents for corn. One contact said, “When you are going to spend as much as $20 billion on Round Two, rates will have to reflect that higher amount versus Round One, including spreading the aid to more commodities via indirect impact considerations. But no one will likely be happy with the final announcement. We saw the same thing last year.”

By not basing payments on current production, payouts can come much sooner than the initial program for 2018 actual production.

While a waiver of the pay cap is not likely, officials are reviewing the situation and perhaps there will be changes on this facet relative to last year's program.

Implementation of the coming program is important, as one source said there were around one million applications for the 2018 aid program and it took an average of one hour per application, so one million work hours for applications to be completed.

The coming plan will likely come in installments and could be impacted if there any announced U.S./China trade agreement.

The House will consider legislation aimed at reversing Trump administration efforts to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; it will also take up legislation that would give people more flexibility to save for retirement.

Sec. of State Mike Pompeo will brief all members of the House on Iran. Timing has not yet been determined.

The Senate wants to move disaster-aid agreement as quickly as possible, with the goal of getting legislation approved before the week-long Memorial Day recess. Senators are still debating whether to include additional funds to manage the influx of people crossing the southern border.

The House has already passed a disaster aid bill (HR 2157) that includes one-time relief for stored crops that have been ruined by natural disaster. It would allow farmers to access a $3 billion in funding administered by USDA as part of a program established in a 2018 bill — the Wildfire and Hurricanes Indemnity Program.

The House bill also includes language that some farm-state senators want in their bill: coverage for losses to peach and blueberry crops in a 2017 freeze and losses to sweet corn from Hurricane Michael in 2018. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wants language that would allow farmers to access federal funds if they are unable to plant this season due to the flooding. The House bill does not contain that provision. “These farmers are facing the challenge of not being able to plant this year,” Grassley said in a floor speech in April. “Unfortunately, many of these farmers’ fields were just recovering from previous years of major flooding.” House Ag Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) supports the one-time payment for flooded grain in storage (and voted for the House bill that contains it), but he said farmers should have had the foresight to have gotten private insurance relative to prevent plant, according to the Congressional Quarterly.

Several of President Trump’s judicial nominees will be considered in the Senate his week.

Congressional leaders will meet Tuesday with Trump administration officials about a budget caps deal and the debt ceiling. The top-level lawmakers include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Infrastructure reform funding. President Trump meets with Pelosi and Schumer Wednesday to discuss funding options for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Democrats said after the last meeting on April 30 that Trump agreed on a goal for rebuilding crumbling U.S. public works, but it was up to the White House to come up with a way to pay for it.

Economic updates for the week include:

— Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its National Activity Index for April. Consensus estimates are for a 0.08 reading, up from March’s -0.15.
— Canadian markets are closed in observance of Victoria Day.

— National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales data for April. Economists forecast a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.3 million, up about 2% from March’s 5.2 million sales.
— OECD publishes latest Economic Outlook, containing projections for member countries and major economies.

— Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases minutes from its monetary-policy meeting that concluded earlier this month.
— MBA Mortgage Applications.

— Census Bureau releases new-home sales data for April. Expectations are for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 678,000 new single-family home sales, lower than March’s rate of 692,000.
— IHS Markit reports its U.S. Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for May. Consensus estimates are for a 53 reading, roughly even with April’s data.
— Department of Labor reports initial jobless claims for the week ending on May 18. Expectations are for 215,000 claims. The four-week moving average is 225,000.
— Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index.
— Fed Balance Sheet.
— Money Supply.

— Census Bureau releases its Durable Goods Orders report for April. New orders for durable goods are seen declining 2% after rising 2.8% in March. Excluding transportation equipment, durable goods orders are expected to rise 0.3%, roughly even with March.

Fed speakers on tap:

— Fed Chairman Jerome Powell delivers keynote at Atlanta Fed’s annual Financial Markets Conference; Amelia Island, Fla.
— Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker delivers a speech on the U.S. economic outlook at the Management Science 65th Anniversary Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.
— New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams participates in the "Fed Listens" roundtable discussion on monetary policy strategy, tools, and communication practices with Federal Reserve Board of Governors Vice Chair Richard Clarida, in New York, NY.
— Federal Reserve Board of Governors Vice Chairman Richard Clarida participates in a roundtable discussion on monetary policy strategy, tools, and communication practices with New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, in New York, NY.

— Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at the Financial Markets Conference at Fernandina Beach, Florida.
— Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren speaks at the Economic Club of New York, in New York, N.Y.

— Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic gives opening remarks at the the Dallas Fed's Technology-Enabled Disruption: Implications for Business, Labor Markets and Monetary Policy conference in Dallas, Texas.

— Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan participates in a moderated Q&A with Tom Barkin, Raphael Bostic, and Mary Daly at the "Technology-Enabled Disruption: Implications for Business, Labor Markets and Monetary Policy" conference in Dallas, Texas.

Key USDA and international agriculture and energy-related reports and events on tap:

Monday, May 20

Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Milk Production
  • Malaysia May 1-20 palm oil exports from Intertek
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • EU’s monthly MARS bulletin on weather and crop conditions

Energy reports and events:

  • UBS Global Oil and Gas conf. in Austin, Texas

Tuesday, May 21

Ag reports and events:

  • Chicken and Eggs
  • Malaysia May 1-20 palm oil exports from AmSpec and SGS

Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report

Wednesday, May 22

Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Cold Storage
  • USDA soybean crush and corn for ethanol

Energy reports and events:

  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories

Thursday, May 23

Ag reports and events:

  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Sugar: World Markets and Trade
  • Floriculture Crops
  • Livestock Slaughter
  • Poultry: Production and Value
  • U.S. issues Atlantic hurricane forecast
  • China April trade figures: includes grains, sugar, cotton
  • Buenos Aires Grain Exchange weekly crop report
  • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports
  • Earnings: Sanderson Farms

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change

Friday, May 24

Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts.
  • Peanut Prices
  • Cattle on Feed
  • Poultry Slaughter

Energy reports and events:

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

Other reports and events this week include:

Monday, May 20

  • Organic Trade Association’s annual Washington meeting, through Thursday.
  • Lawmakers discuss “Ban the Box” bill, which would bar federal agencies and contractors from asking job applicants about their criminal histories until the conditional offer stage. At American Enterprise Institute event.
  • China & North Korea. Henry L. Stimson Center holds a discussion on "Post-Hanoi Dynamics Between the ROK (Republic of Korea) and China."

Tuesday, May 21

  • OECD publishes latest Economic Outlook, containing projections for member countries and major economies. economies.
  • President Donald Trump meets with Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and Micronesia President David Panuelo.
  • Nominations. Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting to consider nominations of Pamela Bates as ambassador to the OECD, Christopher Landau as ambassador to Mexico, Jennifer Nordquist as executive director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Eliot Pedrosa to be executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Budget caps and debt ceiling. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) meet with Trump administration officials about a possible budget caps deal and the debt ceiling.
  • Climate change and agriculture. Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of U.S. Dairy Export Council and former USDA Secretary in the Obama administration, testifies at Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on climate change and agriculture.
  • HUD oversight. House Financial Services Committee hearing to review oversight of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Shell companies. Officials from the Treasury and FBI testify at a Senate Banking Committee hearing to review tackling “illicit financing by anonymous shell companies.”
  • Clean Air Act. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing to examine EPA proposal that says limiting mercury and other air toxins from coal and oil-fired power plants is not necessary under the Clean Air Act.
  • Unexpected medical bills. House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on protecting patients from unexpected medical bills. Efforts to clamp down on “surprise” medical bills are on the fast track after a bipartisan group of senators introduced its legislative blueprint last Thursday.
  • Transparency of drug prices. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing to examine transparency of drug pricing and lowering prices for U.S. consumers.
  • TSA workforce. House Homeland Security subcommittee hearing on the TSA workforce.
  • Russia. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing to examine the Kremlin’s “Tools of Malign Political Influence.”
  • FY 2020 budget: Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Program. House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing.
  • Animal pest and disease prevention. House Agriculture subcommittee hearing.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing.
  • FY 2020 appropriations. House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY 2020 Energy & Water Appropriations bill and the FY2020 Defense Appropriations bill.
  • FY 2020 budget: NOAA, Fish & Wildlife. House Natural Resources Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee hearing on "Examining the President's FY2020 Budget Proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."
  • Advancing renewable energy. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on opportunities to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts in the United States. Daniel Simmons, assistant Energy secretary for Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, testifies.
  • Transportation infrastructure & climate change. House Science, Space and Technology Investigations Oversight Subcommittee hearing on "The Need for Resilience: Preparing America's Transportation Infrastructure for Climate Change."
  • Mueller report. House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Report by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III: Former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II."
  • TSA workforce. House Homeland Security Transportation and Maritime Security Subcommittee hearing on "The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Workforce Crisis: A Homeland Security Risk."
  • EPA mercury policies: House Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on "Undermining Mercury Protection: EPA Endangers Human Health and the Environment."
  • Rural health care: The Rural Health Information Hub webinar on "Improving Oral Health Care Services in Rural America from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services."

Wednesday, May 2

  • Infrastructure reform funding. President Trump meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to discuss funding options for $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Democrats said after the last meeting on April 30 that Trump agreed on a goal for rebuilding crumbling U.S. public works, but it was up to the White House to come up with a way to pay for it.
  • NAFTA 2.0/USMCA. House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing on “Enforcement in the New NAFTA.”
  • FY 2020 spending. House Appropriations Committee markup for FY 2020 Energy-Water Development and Defense spending bills.
  • FY 2020 budget: Homeland Security. Acting Homeland Security Sec. Kevin McAleenan testifies at House Homeland Security Committee hearing to review FY 2020 budget request for his department.
  • Establishing single-payer health care system. Congressional Budget Office Deputy Director Mark Hadley testifies at House Budget Committee hearing on the key design components needed for establishing a single-payer health care system.
  • Facial recognition. House Oversight Committee holds part one of a hearing to assess the impact of facial recognition technology on civil rights and liberties.
  • Infrastructure. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing to consider panel’s infrastructure bill that would provide $40 billion for broadband internet expansion.
  • President Trump's 2020 budget request. House Transportation and Infrastructure Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee hearing to review Trump’s FY 2020 budget request.
  • Infrastructure. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the LIFT ("Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's America Act") infrastructure bill.
  • Bio-gas. Environmental and Energy Study Institute forum, “Biogas: Pro-Economy and Pro-Climate.”
  • International financial system. House Financial Services hearing on "The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System."
  • Immigration. House Judiciary Committee (markup of the "Dream Act of 2019"; the "American Promise Act of 2019"; and HR 549, the "Venezuela TPS (Temporary Protected Status) Act of 2019."
  • FY 2020 budget: Commerce, Interior, Justice & Environment. House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill; and the FY 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
  • Disaster preparedness. House Transportation & Infrastructure Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee hearing on "Disaster Preparedness: DRRA (Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018) Implementation and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Readiness."
  • U.S. elections. House Oversight & Reform National Security Subcommittee hearing on "Securing U.S. Election Infrastructure and Protecting Political Discourse."
  • Energy storage. Atlantic Council holds a discussion on "The Future of Energy Storage."
  • FY 2020 budget: Interior. Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY 2020 for the Interior Department.
  • Census. Joint Economic Committee hearing on "The Economic Impacts of the 2020 Census and Business Uses of Federal Data."
  • Trade export controls. Commerce Department; Bureau of Industry and Security meeting of the Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee on technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to information systems equipment and technology, May 22-23.
  • Demurrage charges. Surface Transportation Board holds a meeting to receive information from railroads, shippers, receivers, third-party logistics providers, and other interested parties about their recent experiences with demurrage and accessorial charges, including matters such as reciprocity, commercial fairness, the impact of operational changes on such charges, capacity issues, and effects on network fluidity.
  • China's strategy. Heritage Foundation holds its 2019 Russell Kirk Lecture on "What is China's Grand Strategy?"
  • European elections. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) holds a discussion on "Europe after the European election."

Thursday, May 23

  • Climate. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis hearing, "Creating a Climate Resilient America.”
  • Hurricane forecast. U.S. NOAA issues Atlantic hurricane forecast.
  • Homeland Security resources. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Resources Needed to Protect and Secure the Homeland."
  • USMCA. U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) holds a discussion on "Innovative Nations: Why the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) is Good for the Innovative Economies of North America."
  • Energy. United States Energy Association holds its annual membership meeting and public policy forum, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, EPA Administrator Andy Wheeler and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee.
  • U.S. & Japan energy cooperation. Atlantic Council holds a discussion on "Powering the U.S.-Japan Alliance: Strategic Energy Cooperation, Middle East Relations, and the Future of Energy Security in Asia."
  • Negotiating with China. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) holds a discussion on "Negotiating with China During Peacetime, Crisis, and Conflict."

Friday, May 24

  • President Trump travels to Tokyo.
  • President Trump addresses the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.
  • Chinese ceramic tile. International Trade Commission meeting to vote on Inv. Nos. 701-TA-621 and 731-TA-1447, Ceramic Tile from China, and is scheduled to complete and file its determinations on May 28, 2019.
  • Trade & money laundering. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and the House Financial Services Committee hold a briefing on "Shady Shipping: Understanding Trade-Based Money Laundering."
  • China & Russia relations. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) discussion on "Sino-Russian Relations: Evolution, Prospects, and Challenges."
  • India elections. Brookings Institution discussion on "Assessing India's 2019 election results."


Add new comment