Washington, D.C. Update

March 22, 2024
House Agriculture Committee Holds a Hearing on Chinese Influence in Agriculture

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing titled “The Danger China Poses to American Agriculture.” During the hearing, there was bipartisan concern over the impacts of Chinese influence on U.S. agriculture and national security. Members of both parties agreed on the importance of remaining competitive in the global agricultural market. Republicans focused on the variety of threats China poses to the U.S., including intellectual property theft, cybersecurity attacks, and the acquisition of farmland by foreign interests. Democrats warned that policy decisions may inadvertently impact the Asian American community and that aggressive tariffs could have negative impacts on the U.S. and its trading allies. Other topics discussed include trade promotion programs within the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the farm, and potential improvements to the tracking and reporting system for land purchases. A recording of the hearing can be found here.

Secretary Vilsack Testifies on the FY2025 Budget

On Thursday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on the USDA budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2025. During the hearing, Republicans expressed concern over the total spending level requested, which is roughly $3 billion over the FY2024 enacted level. They were also concerned about the Secretary’s use of the Commodity Credit Corporation and the use of SNAP benefits to purchase unhealthy foods. Democrats were dissatisfied with the lack of Democratic input in the FY2024 process and were supportive that the request included a funding increase for the WIC program. There was agreement in the hearing among the parties on the importance of USDA’s role in protecting food security and supporting rural development. A recording of the hearing can be found here.
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