Biden and Top Officials Continue to Push Infrastructure and Social Program Proposals

Posted on 05/03/2021 6:38 AM

Help for U.S. restaurants taking shape

 


Washington Focus


 

The House is scheduled to have another committee work week this week while the Senate is not in session.

 

President Joe Biden and his top officials this week will continue his sales pitch for massive spending efforts on infrastructure ($2.25 trillion) and social programs ($1.9 trillion). There is still a call for bipartisanship, but most observers indicate the White House is not willing to let that attempt to find support across the political aisle delay the efforts too long or will end them altogether.

 

Budget plans for several agencies will be the focus of hearings this week. Congress continues to examine the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 spending plans and several agencies’ budgets will be looked at this week. Sessions are on tap this week covering the Departments of Justice, Education, Energy and Commerce. The budget requests for the various agencies continue to focus on climate while the budget plans for education also have sizable increases in spending in that area.

 

Help for restaurants taking shape. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created as part of the March Covid aid plan, offering up to $28.6 billion to help the restaurant industry battered by the Covid pandemic. The grant program provides money to restaurants and can be used to cover expenses since Feb. 15, 2020 through March 2023, including payroll, mortgage payments, maintenance, food, supplies and more. The grants cannot be more than $5 million per business or $10 million per restaurant group, with priority given to women, veteran-owned businesses, and socially and economically disadvantaged groups such as Blacks and Hispanics. More than 40,000 restaurants signed up in the first hours of the program that launched Friday. But the sector lost a lot of restaurants during 2020 — industry estimates are that more than 100,000 restaurants closed for good with the average time those operations had been in business standing at around 16 years.

 

‘Climate smart’ agriculture will continue to be the policy push in agriculture as the thousands of comments received on USDA’s request for input from the ag sector on what kinds of new programs are needed and what existing programs can be tapped for climate efforts in the sector. USDA’s call for input from the sector yielded a lot of feedback and that input is hoped to form the basis for how USDA responds ahead.

 


Hearings and Events This Week


 

Monday, May 3

  • President Joe Biden travels to Yorktown, Virginia.
  • Federal Reserve. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks; New York Fed President John Williams scheduled to speak.
  • Ag workers. House Education and Labor Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing on "From Excluded to Essential: Tracing the Racist Exclusion of Farmworkers, Domestic Workers, and Tipped Workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act."
  • Worker policies. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition holds its virtual 2021 Just Economy Conference with the theme "Building A Foundation for a #JustEconomy," including remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
  • Appropriations subcommittee member day. House Appropriations Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on “Member’s Day.”
  • Russia sanctions. The Atlantic Council holds a webinar on "The Impact of Western Sanctions on Russia."
  • Assessing Biden’s first 100 days. The Brookings Institution holds a webinar on "Analyzing Biden's First 100 Days," focusing on key issues including "the coronavirus pandemic, racial equity, gun reform, immigration, and education."
  • Government accountability. House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on "Improving Government Accountability and Transparency."
  • U.S. Latin America policy. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) holds a virtual discussion on "The U.S. Approach to Latin America and the Caribbean."
  • U.S. foreign policy. The Johns Hopkins University Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds a virtual discussion with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), on "the future of CFR and U.S. foreign policy."

Tuesday, May 4

  • Climate and food security. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) holds a webinar on "A New Era for Climate Change and Food Security?"
  • China and technology. The SETA Foundation at Washington DC holds a virtual book discussion on "The Great Decoupling: China, American and the Struggle for Technological Supremacy."
  • Climate and energy research. House Science, Space and Technology Energy Subcommittee hearing on "Climate and Energy Science Research at the Energy Department."
  • Energy efficiency. The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) holds its virtual 2021 Energy Efficiency Global Forum with the theme "Build Back Brighter."
  • Covid and small businesses. Politico holds a webinar on "Beyond Survival: Small Businesses After Covid-19."
  • FY 2022 budget: Justice. House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "FY 2022 Budget Request for The Department of Justice."
  • Economy situation. The Atlantic holds its virtual Future Economy Summit.
  • Drug prices. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on "Negotiating a Better Deal: Legislation to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs."
  • Transatlantic relations. The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) holds a virtual discussion on "Challenges in Global Security and the Future of Transatlantic Relations."
  • Housing and climate change. House Financial Services Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Subcommittee hearing on "Built to Last: Examining Housing Resilience in the Face of Climate Change."
  • Biden’s first 100 days and Mexico. Inter-American Dialogue (IAD) holds a webinar on "100 Days of the Biden-Harris Administration — What Lies Ahead for U.S./Mexico Ties?"
  • Burma crisis. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "The Unfolding Crisis in Burma."
  • Worker policies. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition holds its virtual 2021 Just Economy Conference with the theme "Building A Foundation for a #JustEconomy."
  • China/India struggles. The East-West Center in Washington holds a webinar on "The Sino-Indian Strategic Rivalry and the United States."

Wednesday, May 5

  • Federal Reserve. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are scheduled to speak.
  • Animal agriculture issues. The Animal Agriculture Alliance holds its virtual Stakeholders Summit.
  • U.S., China and trade. The Washington International Trade Association (WITA) holds a virtual book discussion on "Stronger: Adapting America's China Strategy in an Age of Competitive Interdependence."
  • U.S./EU relations. The Atlantic Council holds a virtual EU/U.S. Future Forum on "building a new transatlantic agenda and momentum for EU/U.S. cooperation."
  • Immigration and infrastructure. Washington Post Live holds a virtual discussion on immigration reform, the infrastructure bill and legislative goals for 2021.
  • Critical minerals and clean energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) holds a virtual media briefing on a new report, "The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions."
  • FY 2022 budget: Education. House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "FY2 022 Budget Request for the Department of Education."
  • Transatlantic relations. The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) holds a webinar on "Finding New Common Ground: Building Trusting Relationships and Advocacy Across the Atlantic."
  • Covid and Homeland Security. House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on "TSA: Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Implications for Budget and Operations"
  • Digital trade. The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) holds a virtual discussion on "How to make progress on digital trade negotiations?"
  • Methane emissions. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration holds a virtual meeting on "Pipeline Safety: Pipeline Leak Detection, Leak Repair, and Methane Emission Reductions."
  • India and Covid. The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) holds a virtual discussion with Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu about developments surrounding Covid-19 in India.
  • Clean energy and transportation. House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing on "The CLEAN Future Act: Driving Decarbonization of the Transportation Sector."
  • Immigration. New York University, Washington, DC (NYU DC) holds a webinar on "Immigration Reform: Presidential Power and the Road Ahead."
  • Oil and gas issues. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) holds a webinar on "The Oil and Gas Investment Landscape."
  • Cybersecurity. House Homeland Security Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Subcommittee hearing on "Responding to Ransomware: Exploring Policy Solutions to a Cybersecurity Crisis."

Thursday, May 6

  • Federal Reserve. New York Fed President John Williams, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan are scheduled to speak.
  • USDA rural development. House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "USDA Rural Development Mission Area."
  • Broadband issues. House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on "Broadband Equity: Addressing Disparities in Access and Affordability."
  • Animal agriculture issues. The Animal Agriculture Alliance holds its virtual Stakeholders Summit.
  • FY 2022 budget: DOE. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies hearing on “FY 2022 Budget Request for the Department of Energy.”
  • Xinjiang issues. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "The Atrocities Against Uyghurs and Other Minorities in Xinjiang."
  • Antitrust issues. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hold a virtual discussion on antitrust conduct claims.
  • Financial market activities. House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide, Part III."
  • House Natural Resources member’s day. House Natural Resources Committee hearing on "Member's Day."
  • Energy outlook and issues. The United States Energy Association (USEA) holds its virtual 2021 Annual Membership Meeting and Public Policy Forum on "industry achievements, developments in energy policy, and to preview the future of the energy industry."
  • EU situation. The Woodrow Wilson Center's (WWC) Global Europe Program and the European University Institute sponsor the "State of the Union 2021" conference.
  • U.S. Secret Service. House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on "U.S. Secret Service Operational Priorities."
  • Methane emissions. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration holds a virtual meeting on "Pipeline Safety: Pipeline Leak Detection, Leak Repair, and Methane Emission Reductions."
  • High-speed rail. House Transportation and Infrastructure Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee hearing on "When Unlimited Potential Meets Limited Resources: The Benefits and Challenges of High-Speed Rail and Emerging Rail Technologies."
  • Infrastructure and jobs. House Small Business Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development Subcommittee hearing on "Growing Jobs through Infrastructure Investment."
  • FY 2022 budget: Commerce. House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "FY 2022 Budget Request for The Department of Commerce."
  • Immigration. House Homeland Security Oversight, Management and Accountability Subcommittee hearing on "Stakeholder Perspectives on Addressing Migration Push Factors."
  • Mexican elections. The Woodrow Wilson Center's (WWC) Mexico Institute and the Atlantic Council's Latin America Center hold a webinar on "Mexico's Mid-Term Elections: What's at Stake and What to Expect."

Friday, May 7

  • Climate solutions. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a webinar on "Natural Climate Solutions: A Win-Win Solution for Our Environment and Our Economy."
  • U.S. Southern border. The Center for Conservative Women holds a virtual discussion on "The Southern Border Crisis."
  • U.S./Korea issues. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) holds a webinar on "Reordering Priorities: Republic of Korea (ROK)/U.S. Alliance in the Indo-Pacific Century."
  • European issues. The Woodrow Wilson Center's (WWC) Global Europe Program and the European University Institute sponsor the "State of the Union 2021" conference on "Europe in a Changing World."

Economic Reports for the Week


 

With signs of a continue robust U.S. economy, the key report this week comes Friday with the Employment report.

 

Monday, May 3

  • Census Bureau reports construction-spending data for March. Consensus estimate is for a 0.6% month-over-month increase in construction spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.53 trillion.
  • Institute for Supply Management releases its Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for April. Economists forecast a 65 reading, roughly even with the March figure. The March reading was the highest for the index since December 1983

Tuesday, May 4

  • U.S. trade deficit in goods and services is expected to widen to a fresh record in March. Preliminary data already show the trade gap for goods at a new high as American demand for foreign-made products surges alongside rising incomes and a reopening economy.

Wednesday, May 5

  • MBA Mortgage Applications
  • ADP releases its National Employment Report for April. Expectations are for a gain of 762,500 jobs in private-sector employment after a 517,000 increase in March.
  • ISM releases its Services PMI for April. The consensus call is for a 64.6 reading, a tick higher than the March data. The March reading was an all-time high for the index.

Thursday, May 6

  • Jobless Claims
  • Department of Labor reports initial jobless claims for the week ending on May 1. Initial jobless claims have averaged 611,750 a week in April and are at their lowest level since March of last year.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports labor costs and productivity for the first quarter. Expectations are for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.2% productivity growth, compared with a 4.2% decline in the fourth quarter of 2020. Unit labor costs are seen falling 0.4% after rising 6% previously.
  • Fed Balance Sheet
  • Money Supply
  • Bank of England is expected to hold interest rates steady. Economists are watching for upgrades to economic growth and inflation forecasts, as well as a signal on when the central bank could start to slow asset purchases that are meant to keep rates low.

Friday, May 7

  • BLS releases the jobs report for April. Economists forecast a gain of 975,000 in nonfarm payroll employment. The unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 5.8% from 6%. Even with another big gain, however, the economy will still have millions fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic.

Key USDA & international Ag & Energy Reports and Events 


 

The International Cotton Advisory Committee updates its world supply and demand outlook in Washington on Monday, the United Nations’ FAO food price index comes Thursday, while China customs on Friday will publish trade data.

 

     While traders are focusing on U.S. planting prospects, the key market is on the safrinha corn crop in Brazil, where sources inform the crop is likely in the low-90-million-ton area, with USDA currently at 109 million tons. Other private-sector estimates are at 100 million tonnes or less, with most indicating a downward bias to their outlook. If so, veteran commodity traders see the potential for all-time highs for corn and soybean markets, with volatility in the export and fobbing markets. Anxiety is rising that come fall, significant demand for both corn and soybeans will produce major logistics problems. Front-end futures are expected to lead the way to all-time highs. Concerns about the crop in Brazil make potential rains all that much more important for U.S. crop prospects. Trade data this week will be interesting to see if the pattern of imports rising faster than exports continues. The economic recovery is continuing to add demand for imported goods in the U.S., foods and other ag products included.

 

Monday, May 3
 

     Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Commodity Costs and Returns
  • Milk Cost of Production Estimates
  • Cotton System
  • Fats & Oils
  • Flour Milling
  • Flour Milling, Annual
  • Grain Crushings
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • International Cotton Advisory Committee updates world S/D
  • Holiday: U.K., Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand

     Energy reports and events:

  • CPC final loading program (May)

Tuesday, May 4
 

     Ag reports and events:

  • Milk Cows and Production by State and Region
  • Dairy Products
  • Purdue Agriculture Sentiment
  • Holiday: Japan, China, Thailand

     Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. Census export, import data (March) 

Wednesday, May 5
 

     Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Livestock and Meat International Trade Data
  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update
  • Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts, Annual
  • Malaysia May 1-5 palm oil export data
  • Holiday: Japan, China

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories
  • Genscape ARA crude inventories

Thursday, May 6
 

     Ag reports and events:

  • Weekly Export Sales
  • County Estimates: Peanuts
  • FAO World Food Price Index
  • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change
  • Insights Global report on European refined product inventories in ARA region
  • Russian refinery outage data (weekly)

Friday, May 7
 

     Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC Commitments of Traders report
  • Peanut Prices
  • China customs publishes trade data
  • CNGOIC monthly report on Chinese grains & oilseeds
  • StatsCanada wheat, canola, barley and durum stockpile data
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on crop conditions

     Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts
  • China initial trade data (April)
  • BTC loading program (June)
  • ICE weekly Commitments of Traders report for Brent, gasoil

 

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