Trump Moving on Trade

President Donald Trump is wasting no time moving on trade.  Sunday, in remarks at the swearing-in ceremony for senior White House staff, he announced meetings already set up (Fox News coverage, 01/22/17).

He said British Prime Minister Theresa May would meet with him very soon.  CBS News reported that May would be the first foreign leader to meet with Trump, scheduled for Friday.  May told business leaders at the economic summit in Davos that Britain is looking to strike trade deals with “old friends” and “new allies.”  May also said she believes Britain can work out a new trade deal with the U.S. (“British Prime Minister Theresa May to visit Trump Friday,”, 01/21/17).

Additionally, pointedly talking about NAFTA, Trump told his assembled White House staff and their families that meeting were also scheduled with Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and Mexico’s President Enrique Nieto (Fox News).

President Nieto’s popularity is low in Mexico, which could increase pressure on him to work towards an early, stabilizing set of additions to NAFTA.


Published in: on January 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

USDA to Revive GIPSA Rule

We haven’t had a chance to read it yet but USDA has sent out copies of the newest iteration of the “GIPSA Rule” as it will appear in the Federal Register tomorrow, beginning a 60-day comment period.

The Rule is split into three parts, with the first dealing with the poultry industry.  Part II deals with the definitions in section 202 a & b and requires 85 pages to handle.  This is an Interim Rule, and will go into effect 60 days after publication.  USDA will still take comments on this Interim Rule.  This section deals with the requirement to show harm to competition and looks even from the titles and descriptions to be a real problem.  In addition, it refers to USDA’s “longstanding interpretation” regarding harm to competition, something most of us never heard of before the 2010 Rule.  If USDA had an interpretation counter to nearly all federal court decisions, it was news to most livestock folks.

The third section of the Rule is to define “Unfair Practices” and “Undue Preferences” and requires 69 pages to address.  This section is a Proposed Rule, with comments being taken from 60 days after publication.

We will delve into the details very soon in our “AFF Sentinel” e-mail newsletter.  If you do not receive the Sentinel and would like to do, send us an e-mail at

Published in: on December 14, 2016 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

McCarthy Withdraws As House Speaker Candidate

Instead of a secret ballot election today (Thursday) to select a candidate for House speaker, the election has been postponed after Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew as a candidate.

McCarthy evidently determined he could not get the votes he needed and told the gathered Republicans Thursday that he would withdraw. Evidently, his announcement significantly surprised the conference.

For now, Speaker Boehner remains and McCarthy is still majority leader. What evidently ensues now is a recalibration of the whole House leadership picture. The House Freedom Caucus has been mostly holding its 40 members together, with at least 30 of them indicating earlier this week that they would vote in a block for Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fl.). As the most conservative block in the House, they have been more and more outspoken in expressing the frustration voiced by many conservative Republican voters at the leadership not fighting for conservative causes.

Their message has been that the next speaker must significantly overhaul how the House operates, giving more voice to House members, rather than a top down management style.

Published in: on October 8, 2015 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  

TPA Finds Limbo

The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill narrowly passed the House Friday, garnering 219 votes, one over the minimum needed.  However, leadership had structured everything as a package, with the condition that the TPA bill would not advance to the president’s desk if an accompanying Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) did not also pass.  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi threw her opposition to TAA as a last ditch effort to stop TPA.  As a result, TAA was soundly defeated, 126-302.  A related bill on customs and trade rule enforcement did also pass.

Sources in Washington indicated House leadership will bring back the TAA bill next week.


Memorial Day Tribute

Don's Poem

Published in: on May 25, 2015 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Senate Could Vote on TPA Bill Friday

The Senate voted Thursday to end debate and proceed to a vote on the Trade Promotion Authority bill and several amendments.

The Senate leadership expects to vote on the bill yet Friday or in a possible weekend session.

The vote to end debate was 62-38 and required significant deal making by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get the votes. He promised a vote next month on the Export-Import Bank. Boeing’s CEO also pushed Washington State’s Democrat Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to vote for TPA, with an eye towards eventually getting sales deals from a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty with Asian countries.

Published in: on May 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

House Ag Committee Passes mCOOL Repeal Bill

The House Agriculture Committee Wednesday approved H.R. 2393, a bill to amend the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946, by a recorded vote of 38-6.  This is the bill to repeal the mCOOL law for beef, pork and chicken products.

As of this writing, there is no information on when a possible floor vote on the bill is contemplated.  Thursday is the last scheduled session for the House until June 1.

The Senate has not taken any action on a repeal bill.  The Senate Agriculture Committee has a business meeting scheduled for Thursday morning but has not indicated an mCOOL bill will be discussed or voted upon.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts has indicated support for repealing the mCOOL law.  However, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mi.) has issued a statement supporting the law, on the basis of consumer right-to-know theory.  As former chairman of the committee, she had pledged support of mCOOL repeal and then flip-flopped over a winter weekend with no explanation for those to whom she had indicated support.  Stabenow did not make any comment regarding her constituents who would have companies damaged and jobs hurt by retaliation over retaining the protectionist law.

WTO Issues Final Ruling, Shoots Down U.S. mCOOL Law

As expected by most observers, the WTO’s Appellate body again ruled Monday against the U.S. mCOOL rule. As USDA has already made it clear they have been unable to find any way to comply with both the U.S. law and WTO rules — something we said from the beginning of the COOL movement — the ruling puts a solution in Congress’ court.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) understands the urgency of Congress acting swiftly. He has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday and is asking for input from his committee members during a Wednesday business meeting.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Assn. has encouraged the Government of Canada to move without delay to request WTO authorization for retaliatory tariffs. That authorization could come later this summer, with tariffs totaling some $2 billion/year and affecting hundreds of U.S. products across dozens of industries.

Published in: on May 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm  Comments (1)  

Senate Acts on Trade Bills

Our apologies for not posting to this blog for awhile…but it seems so many issues are so complex and lengthy, short blog posts are tough to do.

However, there is important breaking news today.  To wit:

Similar to the outlines of a deal we mentioned Tuesday night, the Senate has negotiated a way to get enough Democrats happy to get trade bills moving again, after Tuesday’s failed cloture vote.

The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, coupled with the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, advanced to floor debate, with a 65-33 vote.  The customs enforcement bill, with currency manipulation language intact, was brought to a vote, as part of the negotiating to advance TPA.  The customs bill passed 78-20.  Its final fate is uncertain, given that the White House opposes it and the House Ways and Means Committee has reported out a very different bill.

The TPA bill is slated to begin floor debate next week.  The House is expected to take up the bill next month.

Published in: on May 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rocky Mountain Heist

It Could Happen to Your State

Many folks living elsewhere have noticed how the state of Colorado has moved from a historically conservative political state to a blue liberal state seemingly overnight. The story of how this happened is important to everyone because this “Colorado Model,” as it has been dubbed, is a model the liberal left wants to roll out in Texas and Virginia and then other states.

The model was to use significant amounts of money — in this case supplied largely by four wealthy liberals — to steamroll local elections for state senators and representatives and blow away opposition for the governor’s race. The preparation was all done very quietly, so that by the time Colorado Republicans discovered what was going on, it was too late. Both houses and the governorship were Democrat.

What followed was a barrage of mandates for renewable energy, the gun control laws that staggered rural and gun owner Coloradans and efforts on the gay and lesbian front.

The difficulties and cost of just coming up with the wind and solar power, plus transmission lines plus backup gas generation will cost Colorado citizens, especially farmers and manufacturers, billions of dollars over just a short period of time.

Want the full story to watch? Citizens United and Michelle Malkin have made a film about how this all happened. You can watch it this weekend and see a riveting and scary story unfold.

“Rocky Mountain Heist”

Here are the times and channels:

Newsmax TV (Dish Channel 223, DirecTv 349

Saturday, Oct. 25th 7-8:00 p.m. and 10:00 -11:00 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 26th 7-8:00 p.m. and 10:00 -11:00 p.m.

If you live in Colorado, KETD-TV Denver:

Saturday, Oct. 25th -7-8:00 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 26th 4-5:00 p.m.

Find out how elections and election laws, planning and money can “tree” a state reminiscent of politicians treeing a town in the old days.

Published in: on October 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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