Latest News From Jim Wiesemeyer

Is There Anything New from the Latest Farm Bill Debate?

We need to know the final funding level in the debt limit debate before there are can be any attempt to mix and match farm bill titles and funds.

What Bodies of Water are Considered WOTUS?

The EPA’s new definition of Waters of the U.S. takes effect Monday. Here's a rundown of what is considered WOTUS and, therefore, subject to federal regulation.

US Importers Carried the Burden of Chinese Tariffs Placed by President Trump

Former President Donald Trump placed tariffs on more than $300 billion in Chinese goods during his presidency, raising costs for American companies, according to the ITC.

New Conservation Funding and CRP Took Priority in Senate Ag Hearing

"The prioritization of resource concerns must be left to the local level where producers decide how they can best address their unique and varied landscapes and needs," said Sen. John Boozman.

US Trade Rep Tai to Discuss Biden's Trade Agenda Today

"In this current situation, the traditional approach to free trade agreements — which isn't just tariff cuts, but that they do tariff cuts on a fully comprehensive basis — isn't what we need right now,” Tai says.

8 State Requests for Year-Round E15 Reviewed by US Budget Office

Without the Office of Management and Budget approval, states will be unable to sell E15 fuel in the summer months.

Vilsack Signals USMCA Case is Coming on GMO Corn Situation in Mexico

The U.S. appears to be pursuing a case via USMCA on the matter: “That is going to happen, because we're essentially in a circumstance where this is not a situation that lends itself to a compromise,” Vilsack said.

U.S. Debt Will Likely Become a Major Issue in Washington

“Over the long term, our projections suggest that changes in fiscal policy must be made to address the rising costs of interest and mitigate other adverse consequences of high and rising debt," CBO Director Swagel said

DOJ Weighs in on Right to Repair Court Case

A filing Tuesday by the Department of Justice urged a federal court in Illinois not to throw out a class action suit that consolidated several farmers’ lawsuits against John Deere over repair restrictions.

Crop Insurance, Production Costs, ERP Among Key Topics at Senate Ag Farm Bill Hearing

A Senate Ag Committee hearing Thursday on the new farm bill raised a issue that is now evident: the Title 1 farm bill safety net can no longer deal with the current ag environment.

Mexico Says U.S. GMO Corn Will be Imported if it Passes a Test

Mexico's new decree will indicate that if U.S. GMO corn passes the sanitary filters of the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), it will have no problem entering Mexico.

Premium Diesel
Diesel Prices Up 78¢ from January 2022

The price surge comes as Europe announced a ban on Russian diesel fuel and G7 countries vowed to price-cap Russian oil products.

Biden Officials Pressed on Mexico Corn Trade Issue at Farm Bill Hearing

“With 90% of corn acreage in the U.S. being planted to biotech seeds and Mexico being the number one purchaser of U.S. corn, I'm concerned this decree is not being met with urgency it deserves,” said Sen. Grassley.

Stepped-Up Basis Leaning in Favor of Rural America on House Ways and Means Panel

With Republicans now in control of the House, Rep. RandyFeenstra (R-Iowa) said he wants to introduce legislation shielding the stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges.

USDA Withholds the Names of Farm Subsidy Payment Recipients

“It’s a mystery as to why the USDA began to hide the names of many recipients,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs for the Environmental Working Group.

FDA Looks to Consolidate its Food Policy and Regulation Divisions

The revamped foods program would absorb the functions of Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the Office of Food Policy and Response, as well as some of the work of the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

United Airlines Taps Corn to Bring Ethanol-Based Jet Fuel to Market

United Airlines is teaming up with a corn ethanol maker in a bid to ramp up production of green jet fuel to deal with carbon credits and climate change by 2028.

Vilsack Focuses on Farm Bill Possibilities with National Sustainable Ag Coalition

Vilsack said USDA believes there are more options for farmers other than “get big or get out. There’s got to be a system in which the many and most have a fair shot.”

USTR Again Raises Ag Biotech, GMO Corn Issue with Mexico

While Mexico wants to reduce its imports of corn by 30% to 40% by 2024, Mexico's Deputy Ag Minister Victor Suarez told reporters that it cannot replace its imports of U.S. corn for livestock feed.

Speaker McCarthy Selects Unruly House Rules Panel

For example, Rep. Ralph Norman in the past unsuccessfully pushed crop insurance amendments that would have cut premium incentives/subsidies by 15% for producers with specified adjusted gross incomes.

Debt Limit Debate: $1 Trillion Coin Not Off the Table

Some legislative officials have discussed the possibility that the Treasury could use an obscure law authorizing platinum coins to circumvent Congress if lawmakers don't raise the debt ceiling.

pickup trucks
A Trade Panel Backed Mexico and Canada in a Dispute With the U.S.

Mexico and Canada had challenged the U.S. method for calculating the regional content required under the USMCA trade pact for cars to have tariff-free access to the U.S.

Kevin McCarthy Finally Won the House Speaker Gavel, Now What?

After four days and 15 rounds of voting, McCarthy’s wait to become Speaker of the House has ended. During his first year as Speaker, he will need to raise the debt limit and fund the government.

EPA Releases New WOTUS Rule, with the Supreme Court Ruling Pending

The definition maintains longstanding exemptions for farming activities but trims an exclusion for prior converted cropland that had been in the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

China to Adjust Trade Tariffs Starting Jan. 1

Export tariffs on aluminum and aluminum alloys will be raised. The current import tariff will stay on seven types of coal until March 31, with tariffs adopted for most favored nations from April 1.

Signs Growing that the Global Supply Chain Crisis is Over

From the docks of Southern California and Europe to the parcel hubs in the Midwest and the store shelves in New York, signs are growing that the global supply chain crisis is over.

USMCA as a Framework: New Talks Between U.S., Ecuador, Uruguay

Government officials asked U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai to capitalize on the success of the USMCA and expand relations in the Western Hemisphere. 

U.S. Expands Dairy Clash with Canada Through the USMCA

Under the USMCA, Canada conceded to granting lower tariff access across dairy products. But Canada was allocating a bulk of those imports to processors, limiting the ability of other groups to buy U.S. products.

How the $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Spending Package Might Impact Your Operation

Text of the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package was released early Tuesday morning. The Senate will vote first and intends to pass the measure before Thursday, leaving the House no time to demand changes.

European Union Clinches a Deal on a Carbon Border Tax

Members of the bloc agreed on how to create a tool that will force foreign companies to pay for the cost of their carbon emissions.

Congress Finally Reports Progress in the Omnibus Spending Bill

The agreement will allow lawmakers to spend the coming week hashing out specific spending levels for each federal agency as well as what legislative items they will attach to the bill, likely including ag aid.

Much like Beijing's Forbidden City is off limits without the emperor's permission, U.S. beef hasn't had permission to enter China in 14 years. But trade relations with China appear to be changing.
China to Hold Economic, COVID-19 Policy Meetings this Week, Following an Ease on Restrictions

“There is a problem with people thinking the pullback of Covid-zero measures is equivalent to the economy reopening, which it is not." says Leland Miller, CEO of research firm China Beige Book.

Shippers Note ‘Notoriously Difficult’ Railroads During Latest Hearing

Shippers urged the U.S. railroad regulator to create more competition in the industry during hearings in which Union Pacific was called to explain a spike in service restrictions.

Mexico Signals New Decree is Coming for GMO Corn Imports

Mexican Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro told reporters in Mexico Wednesday the decree to bar imports of GMO crops into Mexico will be pushed back to 2025.

Dept. of Interior Scopes Out New Solar Locations in the West Amid Off-Shore Wind Lease Auction

International Energy Agency sees an extra 2,400 gigawatts of capacity coming online worldwide over the next five years, with renewables surpassing coal as the largest source of global power generation by 2025.

U.S./EU Spark a Trade Spat Over Limitations in the Inflation Reduction Act

Europeans argue that the act is a beggar-thy-neighbor scheme designed to lure investors away from Europe, just as the region's economy teeters on the verge of recession.

China Gives Signal it May Adjust its Stringent Zero-COVID Policy, Sparking New Wave of Protests

The top official in charge of China’s COVID-19 response told health officials Wednesday that the country faced a “new stage and mission” in pandemic controls.

Chinese Delegates Meet with Top U.S. Officials in New York

China moved to close parks, malls and museums on Tues. as COVID-19 cases hit near-record levels. Lockdowns follow reports that, days before COP27, Xi sent policy and business advisers to New York to meet U.S. executives.

Rail Strike Update: Labor Deal Deadline Shortened to Dec. 5

Unions and railroads are back at the negotiating table. By law, Congress can intervene to impose an agreement if the two sides remain deadlocked. However, one union is now on schedule to strike Dec. 5.

With Midterm Elections Nearly in the Rearview, Leadership Roles Prepare to Change Hands

Pelosi is to step down as leader of the Democratic Party in the House, a position she has held since 2003. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says he will remain in Congress but won’t seek a leadership position.

A Divided Government: GOP Retakes the House by Slim Margin

Most now look for President Biden to increase his use of executive orders and regulations to fulfill some other goals, including those in the coming farm bill.

U.S. Relations with China to "Elevate" Following Biden, Jingping's First Face-to-Face Meeting on Monday

"We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationship going forward and elevate the relationship," Xi said, while Biden stressed that the two countries can compete without it turning into a conflict.

Expect Thanksgiving Turkey Prices to Skyrocket Thanks to Avian Influenza

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has wreaked havoc on many poultry operations this year. Cases confirmed this week in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin total nearly 1.5 million infected birds.

Rail Strike Averted Until Dec. 4, Saving U.S. $2 Billion Per Day

Unions are arguing railroads haven't done enough to address worker concerns, largely surrounding working conditions and paid time off.

'Red Wave' of Voters Did Not Happen: Why Were Poll Predictions So Far Off the Mark?

What caused the polls to shift away from the predicted ‘red wave’ many had suggested? It comes down to multiple factors, including abortion, Trump and voter turnout.

China Looks to Move Away from Strict COVID-19 Restrictions as Imports, Exports Slow

Chinese leaders are considering steps toward reopening after nearly three years of tough pandemic restrictions. The news comes as China's imports and exports slow on rising risks of a global recession.

Florida's Hurricane Ian Losses Total Over $1 Billion

Nikki Fried, Florida commissioner of ag, says the preliminary assessment is a "first step" in trying to get federal disaster aid for affected producers.

U.S. Diesel Crisis Lingers as Europe Prepares for Russian Oil Ban

Global diesel and distillate fuel stocks have fallen to dangerous levels and the U.S. has been exporting a lot of diesel to Europe and Latin America, but now things are changing.

Ukraine Ag Export Numbers Have Recovered to Prewar Levels

Data from Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food shows the country shipped 6.9 million metric tons of grain, vegetables and edible oils last month, nearly matching the 7.1 million tons exported in Sept. 2021. 

Mississippi River barge
New Supply Chain Setbacks: Mississippi River Levels Hit All-Time Low

"The low water disruption will be felt not only by our U.S. producers of food, farm, and fiber but also by U.S. and international consumers as well," says Friedmann of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition.