USMCA Signing at White House Wednesday

Posted on 01/26/2020 10:50 AM

World focus is on Chinese coronavirus | Senate impeachment trial | Infrastructure plan

Besides the world interest and concern regarding the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus (link to update on the virus), key topics this week include the House moving legislation to curb the President’s military powers in the Middle East while the Senate will continue to hear from the President’s defense team relative to the chamber's impeachment trial. House leaders may reveal their $1 trillion infrastructure plans and the chamber may consider the reauthorization of the CFTC, approved earlier by the House Agriculture Committee.
     USMCA signing. A major event at the White House is scheduled to take place Wednesday with President Donald Trump signing the USMCA measure. A few sources signal the signing event has been pushed back a week, but no official word on that from the White House.

House schedule:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says she wants to unveil long-awaited infrastructure plan and address surprise medical billing when the chamber returns.
  • Monday: House Rules Committee meets to consider ameasure that would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  • The chamber will also consider an expanded version of HR 3621, a credit reporting bill.

Senate schedule:

  • The Senate continues as court for impeachment trial of President Trump with the president’s team starting to present their defense against the case put forward by House managers.

Agriculture/Farm Policy:

  • Tuesday: House Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee hearing "To Review Implementation of Farm Bill Conservation Programs."
  • Wednesday: Deadline for comments to be filed with USDA on its new regulations for hemp production. Link to comments so far.


  • Tuesday: Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases annual U.S. budget and economic outlook.
  • Wednesday: CBO Director Phillip Swagel testifies at House Budget Committee hearing.


  • Thursday: Federal Reserve board holds open meeting on proposal that would revise Volcker Rule limits that have constrained Wall Street banks from investment in certain funds.


  • Wednesday: Federal Reserve announces monthly interest rate decision; expected to hold rates steady.
  • Thursday: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva discusses the global economic outlook and fund’s priorities at Center for Global Development event

Trade Policy:

  • This week: Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross is expected to visit Mexico this week, according to Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez.
  • Wednesday: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development holds two-day meeting on how to tax internet commerce.
  • Wednesday: President plans to sign U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, but some sources signal the event has been pushed to next week.


  • Tuesday: House Energy Committee hearing into the impact of wildfires on the power industry and the environment.
  • Wednesday: U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its 2020 energy outlook and discusses its short-term views.

Infrastructure and Technology:

  • This week: House Speaker Pelosi to unveil House Democrats' $1 trillion infrastructure proposal.
  • Wednesday: House Ways and Means Committee hearing on financing infrastructure investments.
  • Wednesday: House Science Committee hearing on U.S. competitiveness in critical technologies.
  • Thursday: Federal Communications Commission meets to approve a $20.4 billion, 10-year plan to subsidize rural broadband. The Rural Opportunity Fund will fund projects via a reverse auction: The higher-speed applicant would be selected for funding when the “clearing price” is reached for the auction. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the plan is the “biggest step the FCC has taken to date to close the digital divide.” About 6 million people live in areas that would be eligible for bidding for the funding, the agency said. California has the most locations eligible for the program at 421,000, followed by Texas (381,000), Michigan (286,000), Wisconsin (271,000), Illinois (246,000), and Missouri (236,000). Initial $16 billion will be targeted to areas having no high-speed service, but problems have surfaced regarding this approach.


  • Tuesday: House Ways and Means Committee hearing to examine legislative proposals for paid family and medical leave.
  • Wednesday: House Energy subcommittee hearing to examine the safety and transparency of food and drugs in the U.S.
  • Friday: Office of National Drug Control Policy will host an event at the White House to release a new tool to help rural leaders curb the effects of the opioid crisis.

Defense and Foreign Policy:

  • Tuesday: Senate Armed Services panel holds hearing to review U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
  • Tuesday: Sec. of State Michael Pompeo and Defense Sec. Mark Esper invited to testify at House Oversight subcommittee hearing on Afghanistan strategy.
  • Tuesday: John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, testifies at House Armed Services Committee hearing on security in the Korean Peninsula.
  • Wednesday: Pompeo invited to testify at House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Trump administration's policies in Iran and Iraq.
  • Wednesday: Pompeo visits U.K. to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
  • Thursday: Pompeo will travel to Ukraine and meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the country’s Foreign Minister and Defense Minister in Kyiv.

President Trump's schedule:

  • President Trump says peace plan for Middle East will be released before visit to White House of Israeli leaders on Jan. 28.
  • Tuesday: President to meet Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz at White House.
  • Tuesday: Trump holds campaign rally in Wildwood, N.J.
  • Wednesday: President plans to sign U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, unless delayed.
  • Thursday: Trump holds rally in Des Moines, Iowa, four days before Democrats gather in the state for first presidential nominating contest

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue left Sunday for a trip through Thursday as he travels to Belgium, Netherlands, Italy to meet counterparts, industry representatives and tour agriculture operations; he will also meet with EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan on Monday.

Economic reports and Federal Reserve appearances for the week include:

— Census Bureau reports new-home sales for December. Economists forecast a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 728,000 new single-family homes sold, up 1.2% from November’s 719,000.
— Dallas Fed Mfg Survey

— Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index for January. Consensus estimates are for a 128.4 reading, up from December’s 126.5 figure.
— S&P CoreLogic reports its Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index for November. Expectations are for a 2.4% year-over-year rise in home prices, up from October’s 2.2% gain.
— Durable Goods Orders: Overall orders for durable goods are forecast to have rebounded 0.5% in December after falling 2.1% in the month before.
— Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index

— FOMC announces its monetary-policy decision. The market widely expects the central bank to keep the federal-funds rate unchanged at 1.50% to 1.75%. Chairman holds press conference.
— Federal Reserve holds an open meeting to discuss a proposal to simplify and clarify the covered funds provision within the Volker rule and a final rule to streamline and increase the transparency.
— MBA Mortgage Applications
— International Trade in Goods
— Retail Inventories (Advance)
— Wholesale Inventories (Advance)
— Pending Home Sales Index
— State Street Investor Confidence Index

— Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) releases its advanced estimate for gross-domestic-product growth in the fourth quarter of 2019. Economists forecast that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.1%, matching third-quarter results.
— Jobless Claims: Number for initial claims for state unemployment benefits likely stood at 215,000 for the week ended Jan. 25.
— GDP: The U.S. Commerce Department in its first estimate of fourth-quarter GDP is expected to show the country's economy expanded at a 2.1% annualized rate. In the final estimate of the third-quarter, GDP rose 2.1%.
— Fed Balance Sheet
— Money Supply
— Bank of England announces its monetary-policy decision. Futures markets predict a greater-than-50% chance that the central bank will cut its key short-term interest rate to 0.50% from 0.75%.

— BEA releases its Personal Income and Outlays report for December. Personal income and spending are both expected to rise 0.3%. This compares with a 0.5% jump in income and a 0.4% gain in spending in November. The Personal Consumption Expenditure index, the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge, is seen edging up 1.5% year over year, matching the November data.
— ISM-Chicago releases its Chicago PMI for January. Consensus estimates are for a 49.5 reading, up from December’s 48.9 figure.
— Employment Cost Index
— Consumer Sentiment

Key USDA & international ag and energy-related reports and events:

Monday, Jan. 27

Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia
  • Export Inspections
  • Capacity of Refrigerated Warehouses
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • MARS crop bulletin — monthly report on crop conditions in Europe

Energy reports and events:

  • Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Energy conference, London; runs through Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday: China, Hong Kong
  • State Stories
  • Livestock & Meat Domestic Data
  • Peanut Stocks and Processing
  • Malaysia’s Jan. 1-25 palm oil exports

Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • Energy Mexico 2020 conference, Mexico City; runs through Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday: China
  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Egg Products

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories
  • EIA Annual Energy Outlook
  • Genscape weekly ARA crude stockpiles
  • Earnings: Marathon Petroleum

Thursday, Jan. 30

Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday: China
  • Weekly Export Sales

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change
  • Singapore onshore oil-product stockpile data
  • Russia refining maintenance schedule
  • International Conference on Climate Change and Global Warming, Sydney; runs through Friday
  • Japan Finance Ministry energy import data (December)
  • Energy U.K. holds briefing on the future of the energy industry
  • Earnings: Shell, Valero

Friday, Jan. 31

Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report
  • Peanut Prices
  • Agricultural Prices
  • Cattle
  • Sheep and Goats
  • Paris Grain Day conference. Topics include outlook for Black Sea/Europe grains and challenges facing the oilseed market.

Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts
  • EIA Petroleum Supply Monthly
  • Earnings: Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Phillips 66


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