Washington, D.C. Update

April 19, 2024

USDA and USAID Announce Investment in Global Food Assistance

On Thursday, USDA and USAID announced an investment of $1 billion in food assistance. $950 million will go towards the purchase of commodities, including rice, to support global food security efforts around the world. The remaining $50 million will be used to purchase commodities not traditionally part of global food assistance programming. Funding through this announcement will support 18 different countries around the world. More information on the announcement can be found here.

Secretary Vilsack Testifies on the USDA Budget Request

On Tuesday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on the fiscal year budget request for USDA. In the hearing, members and the Secretary spoke about the importance of protecting rural communities and supporting small and medium-sized farms. Also discussed was the importance of investing in agricultural research. Republican members of the Committee were concerned over the agricultural trade deficit and the loss of farmland for other purposes. A recording of the hearing can be found here. A summary of the hearing can be found here.

Ambassador Tai Testifies on the President’s Trade Agenda

This week the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai testified to both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on the Administration’s trade policy agenda. Republican members expressed concern over how the state of agricultural trade, noting the agricultural trade deficit and ongoing challenges with certain exports such as U.S. rice exports to India which was brought up by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). Members of both parties acknowledged the importance of trade policy to agricultural producers. Ambassador Tai defended the Administration’s trade policy, saying the approach taken supports American families and workers. A recording of the House hearing can be found here and of the Senate hearing can be found here. A summary of the House hearing can be found here and of the Senate hearing can be found here.

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